Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 08 April 2013 19:25

Concert review: Purity Ring (with Blue Hawaii) flood the night with ethereal electro at Plush, Saturday, April 6

Concert review: Purity Ring (with Blue Hawaii) flood the night with ethereal electro at Plush, Saturday, April 6 / Landon Speers
Written by Will Kyle
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Both levels of Plush stood packed to the gills with fans waiting to see the blissed-out power of two Canadian male/female electronic duos: the Purity Ring and Blue Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii took the stage 45 minutes after its suggested start time to a crowd that was already getting their dance on to Plush's house tracks, which fit the evening's entertainment with decidedly electro influences. Someone clad in a Green Man suit snaked through the venue awkwardly air-grinding on anyone and everyone in sight.

Singer Raph Standell-Preston told the audience that Blue Hawaii would, "Start slow and end fast." Programmer Alex Cowan nodded in agreement as he stood before three different Midi controllers, his laptop cleverly hidden at his feet.

"In Two," from Blue Hawaii's 2013 album "Untogether," opened with Preston's looped and deeply-effected vocals along with a subtle click, click beat from Cowan, who throughout the performance, turned knobs on his various machines to crush drum sounds as they entered the mix. On "Sierra Lift," Preston, clad in an oversized Purity Ring T-shirt, unleashed more looped vocals, which interacted with the beat in a forward thinking manner.

After the song, Preston engaged in a quick rant on America's misconception of drinking. She told the audience that they ought not to binge drink, rather, do as the Europeans do, and drink a little, as a relaxant, no matter the time of day. The crowd cheered at this, but for seemingly the wrong reasons. Nonetheless, I'm sure Preston felt vindicated, displaying a double shot of whiskey some happy fan bought her.

"In Two II" bounced with a subdued dance-club flavor, which nicely subverted Preston's drippy vocals. I enjoyed the show, but found myself wondering what differentiates Blue Hawaii from the scores of electro-indie acts currently in existence. While I couldn't think of one galvanizing element, Blue Hawaii impressed and warmed the stage well for Purity Ring.

Purity Ring appeared after a long set break as a smoke machine pumped out massive clouds of vapor. Refracting through the vapor clouds, the multi-colored house lights along with Corin Roddick's Midi light tree created a trippy halo effect.

On "Enenamy," Roddick controlled a host of blips and twinkles with a pair of drum sticks he used to activate the touch-sensitive globes perched atop his sonic light tree. The cocoons positioned above the stage like reimaged stalactites glowed rhythmically as the music transformed from chorus to verse. Singer Megan James danced in a jerky manner, as if affected by an unseen strobe light, making creepy, claw-like gesticulations to emphasize different parts of her verbal delivery.

On "Crawlers Out," James' echoing vocals washed over the crowd, creating what I'm sure was a religious experience for some. James moved in and out of the smoke's obfuscation, shinning a construction lamp on the crowd, mirroring the song's veiled lyrics and emotional tone.

Hip-hop influenced "Belispeak" unwound with psychedelic power as James confessed her shortcomings to a recurrent grandmother figure, "Grandmother I've been unruly in my dreams and with my speech."

Roddick deftly manipulated his light tree during "Lofticries," while on "Cartographist" James used a mallet to strike a bass drum positioned on the stage. When she struck the drum, it illuminated like Roddick's light tree.

Purity Ring continued their set with "Grandloves," "Obedear," a cover of Soulja Boy's "Grammy," "Ungirthed" and "Schuck." Many couples lightly grinded on each other or else stood arm in arm behind one another like spoons stacked in a kitchen drawer. Clearly, Purity Ring creates dreamy music for lovers, specifically the indie-kid-type-lovers who enjoy a bit of a la carte ethereal-nightmare-weirdness to complement their lovemaking.

Purity Ring closed with "Fineshrine," which exploded out of a wash of well-timed vocal-loop manipulation and a big instrumental drop-in by Roddick. Every person in attendance mouthed James' macabre, yet sexy poetry, "Get a little closer; let it fold. Cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you."

Purity Ring offered no encore. After the set, the crowd seeped out onto Locust Street, smoking cigarettes and commenting that Purity Ring's set while short, was one of the most impressive witnessed in recent memory.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight

Search Parties

Tue September 9

88.1 KDHX Shows


KDHX Recommends


The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes the old-time country blues of the Thin Dimes for this weekend's concert in the park. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through...


Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party Leonard Cohen started out as a poet, and poetry -- ecstatic, spiritual, erotic and political -- suffuses all of his work. When he launched a career as a songwriter and singer in the '60s, only Bob Dylan could match his visionary...


Lee Fields and The Expressions

KDHX welcomes Lee Fields and The Expressions to 2720 Cherokee on Saturday, September 20 at 8pm.   Tickets on sale now at

Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

1 user and 14005 guests online
Sign in with Facebook


Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook