Last week my friends and I drove down from Newark, DE to Baltimore, MD to check out electronic dance-pop duo Purity Ring play a show at the incredibly small Ottobar venue. After 30 minutes of terrifying tribal noises and questionable fashion choices (read: Young Magic), Purity Ring began. Before the show I met Merch director Katie who informed me Megan, singer of Purity Ring had the flu and should “go to bed early tonight.” With that in mind, the show began. With only one album under their belt (a mere 11 songs), the band’s set-list was far from unpredictable (which made for a nice surprise when they later covered Soulja Boy’s "Grammy"). As Megan coughed her way through Obedear and others (see :31 in the video above), and Colin bopped away on his time-sensitive light show, the crowd began to grow uncomfortable for Megan’s health. Several times throughout the show, Megan had to leave the stage, leaving Colin awkwardly waiting in his worn-out high school lettered jacket for his counterpart to return (at times the backing track even had to carry Megan’s voice without her). Still, the show went on and Megan’s charm finally earned the mostly-uninspired crowd’s approval as she burst into album highlight “Fineshrine” to close her fifty minute set.
But the real treat of the evening for me didn’t come with the live performance; instead it came from hanging out afterwards to share a beer and conversation with the flu-ridden, Megan James herself. “Can I get you a beer?” I said to her as she packed away her microphone stand. “I probably shouldn’t be drinking, but sure,” she said to me as she shook my hand, among a few other friends I was with. The conversation was mostly routine: her health, how the tour has been, how she has never heard of the state of Delaware, etc, etc; but definitely most exciting was her inclusion of a detail thousands have been waiting to hear. Not expecting a definite answer, I stupidly asked her “are you playing Coachella this summer?” to which she responded “it’s in the Spring and yes, we are.” I thought the guy next to me was about to pass out at the sudden notice of these words. Satisfied and ready for bed, my friends and I returned home for what we would all call a night well spent.
Check out the rest of Purity Ring on tour as they trek across the midwest this week.