Thursday, July 2, 2015

Purity Ring @ The Fox Theater 6/19/2015

Three years after their 2012 debut album , Shrines, Megan James and Corin Roddick of the Canadian electronic dream-pop duo, Purity Ring have found continued success with their sophomore album, Another Eternity. There were numerous sold-out shows on the tour in support of the recently released album, including their show at The Fox Theater in Oakland on July 19th, which saw  a second show quickly added on the following night. Both shows would run a little later than most, with one opening act as well as  a supporting act, but that didn't stop fans from running to save their place right in front of the stage for the headlining act when doors opened at 7:00 at the first of the two shows on Friday night.

Born Gold asked for the stage lights to be taken off of them and after which they started off calm in complete darkness. Flanked by bandmates on their own set of synthesizers, front-man Cecil Frena's energetic stage presence dominated the set, fighting to demanded attention from the crowd scattered about the theater.

Braids @ The Fox Theater 6/19/2015 Photo by Marc Fong 
Supporting act Braids took the stage with a quite grace, emulating a calm before the storm of their emotion riddled, recently released third album, Deep In The Iris. Gentle yet powerful, singer Raphelle Standell-Preston humbly carried the band's unique blend of serenely invigorating  orchestral indie-pop. Her singing shined with a nurturing nature which spilled into her sporadic humble banter. The comradery both openers shared was very evident as they acknowledged their fellow Canadian friends and and expressed  their happiness and extreme gratefulness to Purity Ring for taking them on tour. 

Braids @ The Fox Theater 6/19/2015 Photo by Marc Fong 
Creating an unassuming, un-contrived vibe, Braids played a lot of new material delivered with a different depth than heard on the album. Their live performance was profoundly more interesting, enjoyable, sounding more solid and impactful. A crackling feed back unbenounced to me, was picked up by the band's keen sense of hearing,  causing them to pause before the last song of their set, "Miniskirt". Braids finished strong and left the stage to a pleased crowd and a packed house.

What with their mix of trip-indie rock layered with dream-pop and spellbinding witch-house, it wasn't surprising to see the diverse crowd of trendy teeny boppers, burners, goths and preppy techies that Purity Ring's drew.  After watching two bands perform in front of the headliners back-lined equipment and curtains of little, un-illuminated stringed lights, it was finally time to see the anticipated intricate stage set up be brought to life. Trading their once homely, bohemian aesthetic for a sleek, stylistic almost futuristic one: the stage washed in warm violets, those cascading light curtains and an ominous prism podium like fixture between them, Purity Ring dove right into the sweet realm of Another Eternity with "Stranger Than Earth". 

Purity Ring @ The Fox Theater 6/19/2015 Photo by Marc Fong 

Purity Ring @ The Fox Theater 6/19/2015 Photo by Marc Fong 

Radiating in her own custom made all white outfit, Megan weaved around stage, in and out of the dangling lights,  meticulously wondering through shadows with Corin perched behind the podium of prisms which turned out to be some sort of  xylophone that lit up when he played it! The whole scene was un-intrusively captivating.

Their signature, hauntingly romantic sound played well over the acoustics, accentuated further by the majestic visuals in the grandiose theater. These audio and visual innovators have embraced the light of Another Eternity allowing their always pleasing live performance to glow in epic proportions. 

Purity Ring @ The Fox Theater 6/19/2015 Photo by Marc Fong 

Purity Ring Set List 6/19/2015 

1) Stranger Than Earth 
2) Push Pull 
3) Repetition
4) Obedear 
5) Lofticries
6)  Heartsigh 
7) Sea Castle 
8) Belispeak 
9) Fineshrine 
10) Dust Hymn 
11) Flood on the Floor 
12) Stillness in Woe
13) Bodyache
14) Begin Again 

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