Live Review

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Webster Hall, NY

At the end of the night you feel like you’ve just participated in all the best parts of a John Hughes film.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

must be one of the most gracious bands working today. Returning to New York after a lengthy North American tour, both guitarist Kip and keyboardist Peggy take a moment to shake hands and banter with concertgoers before they take to their respective instruments. Slinging his guitar over his shoulder, Kip thanks the audience for showing up, saying “I think this will be a special night” before bursting into their first song, ‘This Love Is Fucking Right!’.

As the crowd bop like a Breakfast Club montage, the band rip through ‘Young Adult Friction’ and a few of their lesser known songs on the way to a mid-show peak of ‘Twins’ and ‘Come Saturday’. If there were any doubters of the Pains’ live talent when the show began, they are now ready to sacrifice themselves on the alter of their purest bombast. With Kip holding down lead vocals and guitar work, while maintaining a slightly awkward, up on the balls of his feet, strangely shy approximation of a rock star pose, and Peggy layering adorably breathy vocals (unfortunately lost sometimes amidst the band’s sound) atop her ethereal keys, it’s difficult to decide who is more crush-worthy. This is not to slight the rhythm section, who keep a metronomic beat for a solid forty minutes.

As the band elicite dancing and sing-alongs through ‘Higher Than The Stars’ and ‘The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’, it is easy to notice how the fuller sound of their live drums easily offsets some of the band’s more twee sensibilities. The heavier toms and more insistent kick drum of the live show are the perfect complement to the band’s perfect knack for earworm melodies. Ending their set with a song hung around the chorus “we will never die, no we will never die,” is brilliant, evoking the most beloved moments of a permanent adolescence.

Honestly, treat yourself to seeing The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart live. At the end of the night you will feel like you have just participated in all the best parts of a John Hughes film.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

April 2024

With Bob Vylan, St Vincent, girl in red, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY