How does a band that has barely any songs, which are also more suited for an atmospheric night club perform an early slot in the middle of the day? By being super impressive of course. I am kicking myself for missing most of their set, but am more than happy to have caught the few bits that I did. Somehow they managed to turn the Blue stage into an intimate setting, drawing the crowd into their hypnotic, electronic world. As a finale the band played their last songs on a pipe system they had miked up to produce the songs' beats. It was astonishing and something that truly needed to be seen to believe. One can only guess if Purity Ring's buzz will hold, but from the moments I saw, it only looks bright for the duo.
The Joy Formidable
The Joy Formidable will never be big. Not in the indie Grizzly Bear or Animal Collective sort of way. They will always be a little too unhip for all the cool kids to like with wild abandonment like they do with other bands. Which is a shame because as The Joy Formidable proved with their wind filled set, they are fucking great. They rage with the intensity of the greatest shoegaze bands but throw in genuine, indie rock hooks that rise the songs to thunderous, anthem like levels. Ritzy Bryan is an incredible frontwoman, creating explosions from her vocals and guitar. They tipped of their set with the inflation of two giant, black cats that felt out of place, but for a band this grand, they deserve rock star moments like this.
Coming off that guitar filled high, tUnE-yArDs' was there to deconstruct it all for me. Seeing Merrill Garbus put together her songs piece by piece is really an experience, one that manages to be so much more captivating than one would think. The chants, the fragments, the tribe like garbs to a certain extent all draw you in so slowly that you don't notice as you are yelping along with Garbus without knowing it. The compete minimalism that tUnE-yArDs didn't transfer completely off the stage and into the crowd (the far too few songs they were able to play made the end feel sudden as well), but the band still made deconstructed, off-kilter, jazz horn filled, Afro-pop groove filled with bright, neon colors as captivating as they could.
Dan Deacon's live shows aren't about the music so much as they are about the experience. While usually this a backhanded way of saying "this band sucks live" with Dan Deacon that not at all true. Deacon is a master of the live form, using his music to soundtrack wild/insane dance parties. Discarding the stage to set up in the crowd, he orchestrated the crowd to have a dance competition, and managed to get some fans to walk on the crowd, Iggy Pop style. It's a pity half the set was devoted to Deacon dealing with audio problems and trying to fix them, otherwise this would have been a incredible set. But that never stopped him trying to give the crowd everything, so I don't think he'll mind settling for "pretty good".