Purity Ring recently graced fans with their presence at Red Flag in St. Louis. After re-scheduling their tour de womb tour multiple times due to Coronavirus, it has been more than two years since the Canadian future-pop duo originally planned to go on tour.
Accompanying Purity Ring is another Canadian artist by the name of Ekkstacy.
Equal parts emo and edgy, this act was full of angst, yet still managed to bring an upbeat energy throughout their set. The Vancouver-born artist started the show by informing the crowd that he had thrown up four times backstage before coming on. He then proceeded to power through a rollercoaster of sad and angry songs, with choruses such as “I just want to die” and “fuck everything”. It was definitely an interesting choice for an opening act; Ekkstacy’s deep pleading voice contrasted nicely with the almost childlike and pop sounding voice of Purity Ring’s lead singer, who took the stage next.
Performing from a billowing cloud of fabric and shrouded by an N95 masked for the entire performance, Megan James led the crowd on a tour of the band’s dreamy pop anthems. Joined onstage by the other half of Purity Ring, producer and musician Corin Roddick, the duo combine elements of pop and hip hop to perform upbeat, yet gory odes to love and loss, and searching for comfort in a world that is often terrifying. Due to COVID, the band had a lot of material to cover and wasted no time in doing so. Besides briefly asking the crowd to wear masks at the beginning of the show, there was little time wasted between the aggressively cheerful, yet sorrowful bangers that comprised the majority of their show.
It has been a full decade since the band release their first album ‘Shrines’ in 2012.
Since the last time they toured, they’ve released a full album, Womb, and one full-length EP named Graves, nearly doubling the amount of tracks available to pull from when putting together their set list. Powering through a full hour and a half of electro pop dream sequences, the band walks the line between mania and horror. The show is full of surprises, with a minimal, yet striking production that offers visuals which mirror how a lot of the songs feel — as if you’re floating through the clouds in a dream, trying to decide if you’re afraid or inspired. There is a power and freeness to their songs that can only be achieved by admitting one’s own fragility and continuing on in spite of it. Purity Ring’s tour de womb continues across the United States and Canada this summer! Be sure to catch this Canadian duo in a city near you!
Photography by Sean Rider