Canadian synth-pop duo Purity Ring have packed Lille Vega this Sunday evening, treating their audience to a visual show of impressive proportions. Two months after the release of their second album, Another Eternity, the band seem comfortable in their reputation for pretty, shimmery electronic pop.
Though Purity Ring are known for the care and thought they put into their stage appearance, in person the effect is magnified. The stage is dressed like a Disney winter wonderland, draped with hundreds of balls of light, dominated by Corin Rodderick’s outlandish instrumental set up, essentially a sampler triggered by hitting bizarre illuminated diamond-shaped cocoons. It’s only a step away from Spinal Tap’s alien pods, but it certainly adds an interesting visual element to what is normally a rather dull-looking instrument. All the while singer Megan James is using her mirrored gloves to throw beams of light across the room.
Understandably, the set leans heavily towards material from the latest album, a mixture of harsh beats and bass with sweet effected vocals. Songs like “Push Pull” and “Dust Hymn”, already anthemic, are pushed even more towards bombast by the visual accompaniment. At one point Megan climbs onto the podium and begins beating a gong, which, of course, lights up when struck. Eyes and ears are not allowed to relax for a second.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all this audiovisual stimulation is a way for compensating for Megan James’ slightly awkward and shy stage presence, and indeed when she pauses to thank the audience her nervous laughter is noticeable. But it might also be a little ridiculous to expect even more from a band that has clearly spent so much time and effort into making their live concerts memorable. And as the evening comes to a close with “Bodyache”, the band’s latest single, it is clear that the audience definitely got what they came for.