Purity Ring pairs intricate lights with lush sounds

September 24, 2015

Courtesy of JILLIANN PAK Purity Ring performed for both newcomers and devoted fans.

By JILLANN PAK For The News-Letter

Canadian futurepop duo Purity Ring captivated the audience with dreamy synth vibes and an electrifying light show at Rams Head Live! on Monday.

The pair, Megan James and Corin Roddick, released their sophomore album another eternity in February, which served as a follow-up from their critically well-received debut album Shrines. Purity Ring brought their signature ethereal vibes and enrapturing melodies to a crowd of newly converted first-timers and devoted fans.

James and Roddick took the stage around 9:15 p.m., launching into “stranger than earth” off of their new album. The bass resonated throughout the venue and Megan’s lush vocals poured into the crowd.

Roddick remained stationary for most of the night behind his cocoon of angular light fixtures that pulsed with every beat while James danced and swayed on the front portion of the stage while donning a futuristic bodysuit.

The most compelling element of the show, second only to James’s vocals and presence, was the stage set-up and lighting. Artistically resembling another eternity’s album artwork, a moon hung above and behind Corin’s percussion cocoon and string lights framed both sides of the stage pulsing in synchronization with the beats.

The stage glowed in hazy mists of purple, blue, red and soft pinks and created an almost cosmic atmosphere. The moon itself served dual purpose as a drum with James occasionally stepping up behind Roddick’s cocoon to strike it. Many of the concertgoers pulled out their phones to snap a picture of Megan’s silhouette lit against the moon.

The set amped up in the last third as the duo performed their most popular songs. The music paired with an even more intense light show inspired the audience to dance and sing along more fervently.

The crowd lit up with the crescendo of bells of their popular song “bodyache,” and cheers erupted when the bassline hit.

The most memorable event of the night occurred toward the end of the set during the performance of “stillness in woe” as crew brought out an arc of lights that James sat behind as she put on a pair of gloves lined with mirrors on the palm. As she placed her gloved hands over certain bulbs, streams of light reflected off the mirrors and bounced off into a thrilled crowd.

The duo closed the night with two of their most popular songs. “Fineshrine” off of their first album had nearly everybody singing along and swaying with others. James disappointed many when she announced that there would be no encore, but “begin again” and its echoing melody from another eternity was a fitting ending to a setlist full of good vibes.

A number of Hopkins students were present at Rams Head Live! to see the duo and raved about the experience afterwards.

“Purity Ring made me feel one with the music,” junior Cole Novatt said. “When Megan stared out into the crowd, I felt infinite.”

Others who weren’t as familiar with Purity Ring’s music also enjoyed the show.

“I wasn’t expecting to be able to really dance along with their songs, but I could totally vibe with them,” sophomore Michelle Yang said.

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