[caption id="attachment_47398" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Purity Ring photo by Mehan Jayasuriya."][/caption]
Purity Ring has barely toured since they first emerged online last year. And yet, the band has already cultivated a sizable following, thanks in no small part to their reputation for showmanship. Whereas most electro-pop bands are content to hide behind their laptops onstage, there are no computers in sight during a Purity Ring show. Rather, the audience's focus is directed toward the duo's custom instruments: a tree of MIDI lanterns that illuminate when hit with drumsticks; a drum that lights up when struck with a mallet. Naturally, the band ratcheted up the theatrics for its Tuesday night set at Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge, which doubled as a record release party for their debut LP Shrines. Playing in the round on a stage festooned with over a dozen luminescent, cocoon-like shapes, the duo worked their way through their material with the studied focus of a band that had been anticipating the moment for some time. Presiding over the controls, multi-instrumentalist Corin Roddick bobbed in place as he coaxed the songs along while singer Megan James stalked the stage, shooting glances into the audience that were by turns inviting and menacing. The music, as usual was pristine: the arpeggiated tones of "Ungirthed" sparkled, "Belispeak" lurched forth with its stuttering rhythm and on "Grandloves," the band invited Young Magic onstage to drowsily rap his verses (a first). In short, the night felt like an event -- a significant accomplishment for a band that mere weeks ago had only three songs to its name.