I WAS THERE | PURITY RING @ FORUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE, 11.2.16
Dangling beaded strands lined the darkened stage behind the mysterious Canadian duo Majical Cloudz. Vocalist Devon Welsh came off a bit awkward with long uncomfortable stares between the moments of silence. But it was clear that it was all part of the act as he continued to pace back and forth and pretending to launch himself into the unsuspecting crowd. The quiet jokester burst out with shouts of affecting baritone vocals with raw and honest lyrics from a very dark place. Between the bleak themes of substance abuse, death and unrequited love, the accompanying eerie synths drew us deep down into a sombre reverie.
Smoke floated throughout the theatre to prepare for Purity Ring’s grand entrance. ‘Stranger Than Earth’ pounded our eardrums and the heavy bass vibrated through every inch of our bodies. A fortress of geometric prism lanterns was uncovered at the heart of the beaded threads of intricate LED lights that illuminated like a constellation of stars in the night sky pulsing to the beat.
Vocalist Megan James looked extravagant in a space-like suit covered in tulle around her crown of ringlets. She weaved in and out of the lights to draw us in to the immersive visual and sensory display. To further enhance the magical experience, Corin Roddick crafted an accompanying electronic soundscape that glowed and sounded at his every touch.
‘Dust Hymn’ brought the show to a pivotal ritual-like moment as James stepped up to the podium and bang on the circular panel hanging from high above the ceiling like a doll drum that lit up like a huge golden sun. Another futuristic instrument emerged stage right and James slipped on some reflective mirror ball chard lined gloves to tap each light panel to reveal unique sound effects on ‘Stillness In Woe’.
It was the second time Purity Ring has played a show along with Majical Cloudz and we agreed that it’s the best kind of show with them together as a perfect-paired contrast of light and shade. They don’t do an encore because they think it’s weird and we appreciated their honestly so we knew not to hang around after the transcending ‘Begin Again’.
By Michael Prebeg