LIVE Pains of Being Pure at Heart by Sarah Whitlam


Seven Reasons Why Keyboardist Peggy Wang Shouldn’t Have Quit the Pains of Being Pure at Heart to Become a Full-Time Buzzfeed Writer:

1. Brooklyn’s the Pains of Being Pure at Heart are touring in support of their third album, Days of Abandon, which trades in their shoegaze-y former sound in favour of hi-fi pop.

2. The band’s latest Vancouver gig gave the group a chance to showcase this new sound, and it also made room for noisy back catalogue favourites.

3. The current incarnation of the Pains features keyboardist Jessica Weiss — who is touring with the band following the aforementioned departure of Wang, who now works for Buzzfeed — and her harmonies added an extra touch of sweetness to the outfit’s punchy arrangements.

4. While new cuts like the sunny single “Simple and Sure” and the delicate ballad “Art Smock” impressed, it was the older songs that earned the loudest cheers of recognition; the one-two punch of “Come Saturday” and “Young Adult Friction” got the fans up front dancing, while “Heart in Your Heartbreak” — one of the night’s only songs from 2011’s Belong — was a stand-out scorcher.

5. The venue was only half-full, but the energy in the room was cheerful as frontman Kip Berman bantered jovially about Vancouver’s beauty and the day he spent at the beach.

6. Even though the show included a few too many new cuts and a couple of disappointing setlist omissions — where were “Belong” and “Higher Than the Stars”? — it nevertheless offered a satisfying selection of the band’s melancholy indie pop anthems.

7. Plus, the new keyboardist sung lead on a couple of tunes — something that Wang, to my knowledge, never did — and it sounded amazing.

By Jardbi Armalo
Photo by Sarah Whitlam

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