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Purity Ring and Young Magic Play Boston’s House of Blues

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Feb 4, 2013
Purity Ring’s Megan James at Boston’s House of Blues
Purity Ring’s Megan James at Boston’s House of Blues  

On Wednesday night the experimental electronic Brooklyn music group Young Magic opened for Montreal electro pop duo, Purity Ring at the House of Blues Boston.

Young Magic, a three piece band consisting of Isaac Emmanuel, Melati Malay and Michael Italia, took stage to promote their debut album "Melts" and played a number of cuts from the record. The trio were somewhat able to bring the album to life but even at the band's high moments things still felt lazy and contrived.

After watching the band slam away on computerized drums, strum on a distorted guitar and fiddle with electronics, it was clear that these kids listened to and "Loveless" one too many times and said "Hey, I can do that." Young Magic aren't the first band to chase after the sound My Bloody Valentine perfected and won't be the last. Still, the group, and most of the songs played that night, lacked personality and each track blended into each other, which resulted in a set that sounded like one long song. Their barely visible projection screen that displayed kaleidoscope images of the ocean didn't help either and was a confusing element to Young Magic's live incarnation.

Young Magic at Boston’s House of Blues  

Purity Ring had a little more stage presence, however, as the adorable and doll-like Megan James and handsome bandmate Corin Roddick were full of whimsy and didn’t take themselves too seriously.

The band opened up with a number of highlights off their debut LP "Shrines." The duo’s energy was high and the audience, which nearly filled up the House of Blues, thrashed along to the band’s intimate and creepy lyrics and their hip-hop beats crafted by Roddick. The crowd was shuffling to songs like "Crawlersout," "Aenamy," "Belispeak," "Obedear," "Lofticries," and more.

Purity Ring’s light show was stellar; paper cocoons hung over band lit up to the beats of the song being played. Roddick was helmed at a booth where he controlled the music and beat away on a drum machine that also lit up when hit. To keep things interesting and switch things up from the record, Roddick chopped and screw James’ vocals. Throughout the set, James pounded on a large bass drum in the center stage, which would light up when hit.

The duo played most of the songs off "Shrines" in addition to a surprising cover of Soulja Boy’s "Grammy." It was thrilling to see the tiny James take on a rap song and execute it so well. Although Purity Ring’s music is based on rap beats, James added a stunning etherial layer to the otherwise visceral track. The band closed their set with their most popular song, "Fineshrine," and the crowd ate it up, hanging on to every beat played by Roddick and every note sung by James.


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