Tuesday night, Kansas City came out in droves to support MIDI boards and future pop. Opening the night to a packed house was the humble duo Purity Ring from Canada. With Corin and Megan setting up the stage to their liking, it left very little light to see the duo, which only added to their mystery. It’s not necessarily a band that needs to be seen to be enjoyed, but they do put on a show that really sets the mood for the crowd. Corin worked the music on a single MIDI board and a set of pipes that he designed to light up in coordination with their music. Megan gave us the soothing, and blissful vocals that sent the crowd into an undulating dance movement. One thing I found super interesting was the way the duo never really signifies that a song has come to an end. They only wanted to provide the minimum amount of time between songs for applause and they successfully used their time slot to play as many songs as they could; I love groups like this. Sure I want to hear where you are from and a possible ‘Thanks for coming out” but after that, just sticking to the music is always a winner in my eyes.
Purity Ring has no LP available at this point, but there is an EP available with a couple of songs on their MySpace. Something tells me that a large portion of the crowd had been playing these songs on repeat before this show. Songs like “Lofticries” seemed familiar to a crowd that didn’t exactly sing along but felt as if this was a night they had been preparing for. Their set was quite impressive and none of the songs sounded as if they were repeating themselves, which builds a lot of excitement for the release of a full album, which will certainly be in my playlist rotation as soon as it’s available. Although they don’t like to list musical influences, I will say that their music is on par with Portishead or Goldfrapp.
I highly suggest you check out Purity Ring while on their tour now. Next up was Com Truise, and yes, if you reverse two letters it spells Tom Cruise but he has nothing to do with the music. Com Truise is what I would like to describe as the soundtracks of Bladerunner and Tron (1982) mixed together. There are no lyrics in his music, and really no reason to stay focused on the stage, which is probably why he had the house lights turned off. The crowd used this to their advantage to break out some new dance moves that I wouldn’t call dance moves at this point. For those not dancing, there was a quiet murmur of conversation and drinking going on, while still providing the appropriate applause between songs.
At times, it seemed like Com Truise was just a man experimenting with sound, perhaps he uses the dark to his advantage as well. Only he’s not creating new dance moves, he’s creating new parts to his music. You can purchase and download his music from his website http://comtruise.com/ Com Truise is actually Seth Haley from upstate New York who describes his style as “mid-fi synth-wave, slow-motion funk”.
Headlining the packed, yet relatively calm house was Neon Indian. Where as Purity Ring can fit all of their equipment in a carry on suitcase, Neon Indian seemed determined to stage and show off as many of their toys as possible. Rightly so, as lead vocalist Alan Palomo creates a lot of the boards from scratch in order to create a new and unique sound. Neon Indian’s newest album, Era Extraña, available now, follows 2009’s breakthrough debut Psychic Chasms. The electronic pop band has given us another “chillwave” aka low-fi synth pop record worthy of any summer night drive with the top down.
The crowd loved the show, as did I. This being my second time seeing them, the smaller venue worked really well for the group. With everyone forced to be shoulder to shoulder with someone, dancing was inevitable. There were many that tried to follow Alan’s dance move of a side to side foot slide type move, but the room on the floor just wouldn’t allow it.
Although they played a plethora of songs from their new album, such as “Polish Girl” which you can watch below, they made sure to please the crowd with favorites from their debut album such as “Deadbeat Summer” and “Mind, Drips”. To purchase their songs, or see where they are touring next, go to their MySpace page or their website here.
story and photos by Angela Davis