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Review: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

The New Pornographers

Crescent Ballroom hosted The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The New Pornographers last night.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart started the night with a straightforward performance that took some time for the audience to acclimate to. The set lasted for about 45 minutes and featured songs from all of the band’s three studio albums. Not surprisingly, most of the performance was dedicated to new tracks from Days of Abandon, including “Kelly,” “Simple and Sure,” “Eurydice” and “Coral and Gold.”

Long-time fans perked up when they heard “Young Adult Friction” from the band’s self-titled 2009 debut and “Belong,” the title track for their second studio album released in 2011. Overall, the performance was solid and sure. “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart” was the closer and although this wasn’t who most of the concertgoers came for, I’m certain they were fans by the end of the set.

The New Pornographers, a glorious tribe of eight, was what the people had spent $30 to see. “I’m so excited” and other variations of glee were overheard before, during and after the show. When the band stepped on stage at 9:20 P.M., here’s a bit of what happened: A.C. Newman made an early promise to “play anything you want…within reason,” which led to people shouting out songs all night long. Some of these requests were granted, but I don’t think anyone was disappointed if their song wasn’t played. After all, the set list looked like this. Neko Case told fans that before the show she had acupuncture done…while eating candy (Sweet Tarts and Gobstoppers). The result? Her feeling like a “rocket ship” on stage. Throughout the night, Dan Bejar was on and off the stage, showing up to do his part (“like a gazelle,” said Case), bowing when he was finished and exiting stage right. As if the band wasn’t large enough, some flying bug tried to join the group, but mostly just got in the way. It landed on Kathryn Calder‘s mic during one of her singing parts. Calder made a I-hope-this-doesn’t-fly-into-my-mouth face and at the first opportunity, made a swift flick to get it away. This made for a shared laugh between her and some fans.

The set lasted nearly two hours and involved two encores (five songs total). Some left before the first encore, which included “Dancehall Domine,” “Marching Orders” and “The Bleeding Heart Show.” “We’re playing it to be cool,” said Newman before diving into “Marching Orders,” a fan’s request. “Never let it be said that we’re not cool.” After the three songs, the band left the stage again and many concertgoers left the Ballroom. Those who stayed around used their optimistic claps and cheers to coax The New Pornographers out for a second encore, which included “Sing Me Spanish Techno” and “The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism.” An evening well spent.

Check out some photos and videos from the evening below…

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

The New Pornographers, The New Pornographers live, the pains of being pure at heart, the pains of being pure at heart live, the spec, crescent ballroom

Were you at the show? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

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  1. Hear Me Out: Music Recommendations - The website of D'Aundra Wallace - […] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The New Pornographers — Oct. 13 at Crescent Ballroom (Read my review…

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