The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at Triple Rock, 4/29/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo By Anna Gulbrandsen

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
With Fear of Men and Ablebody
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kip Berman really must have wanted to take his new songs on the road. On a rainy Tuesday night at the Triple Rock, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart frontman introduced a completely revamped lineup and a batch of shimmering numbers from Days of Abandon, which comes out in a couple weeks. A modest turnout greeted the act known for a shoegaze-meets-the-Smiths mix, suggesting that their early buzz has died down quite a bit, but those new tracks threaded throughout the 55-minute set sounded fresh and inspired.

Berman took to the stage alone and started the show with a solo take on the plaintive new song, "Art Smock," reinforcing the fact that this project is indeed driven by his singular creative vision. The band (comprised of longtime Pains' guitarist Christoph Hochheim and his brother Anton [from openers Ablebody] on drums, Jacob Sloan on bass, and Fear of Men's Jessica Weiss on keys/vocals) quickly joined Kip as they tore into another new number, "Until the Sun Explodes." The band's latest tracks expand on Berman's songwriting style, as his wistful lyrics blended fluidly over jangly, '80s-era guitar riffs, building to crescendos during catchy, anthemic choruses.

The fresh lineup sounded tight throughout the set, while consistently guided along by Berman's familiarity and creative ease with Hochheim, as their guitars continually locked together. The sound was certainly there, but the band didn't fully grasp the raw emotions of the numbers themselves, so it was up to Berman alone to deliver their poignant sentiments. "Heart In Your Heartbreak" was reworked a bit as a result, but lacked the towering swell of the original.

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Photos By Anna Gulbrandsen

"We have a 26-hour drive to Vancouver ahead of us," Berman announced reluctantly, "So we're just trying to make this feeling last as long as possible." That exuberance injected the new songs with a lively spirit, as the lush harmonies of "Kelly" filled the club, and the pop buoyancy of "Simple and Sure" echoed Bowie's classic, "Modern Love." The few fans who turned up on Tuesday appeared to have already formed a connection with many of these new songs.



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