Concert Review: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart @ The Opera House, Toronto, Canada

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart is certainly a mouthful for a band name – can we call them TPoBP@H or something stupid trendy like that? No? Well, fine. Last night, indie pop band TPoBP@H The Pains of Being Pure At Heart played some of their wonderful two albums of pop at the Opera House in Toronto. On Monday night, for those in the know and not tired from a long weekend were treated to a free show at indie record music store Sonic Boom. For the paying customers, like PeteHatesMusic, it was the money earned busking outside St. Lawrence Market for an hour that went towards the inexpensive tickets.

The band, currently touring their latest album, Belong, went on around 10:30 PM. Before that, lead singer Kip Berman (looking sort of like a younger Perry Farrell) was helping sell records and t-shirt at the merch booth, and posing for the occasional picture. That’s indie cred, baby.

They opened with the title track of the second album, which is Belong (in case your reading skills aren’t up to speed). Pains engaged in some interesting banter. Kip mentioned that they were invited to a BBQ via the internet – and ACTUALLY ATTENDED! Now THAT’S indie cred, baby. Keyboardist and backing vocalist, and lone female in the band, Peggy Wang, thanked her new parking lot friends, who offered up some screwdrivers before the show. For those underagers, she means a vodka and orange juice, not the tool to tend to her car in the parking lot.

Thankfully, Kip’s soft, almost gentle vocals sounded very similar to his studio voice, which is a definite bonus. Unfortunately, Peggy’s keyboard and backing vocals seemed a touch on the quiet side; the same go for the drums.

The crowd at the Opera House was not to capacity, but cheered and danced the band on through their hour-long set, consisting of 15 songs. For the hardcore fan, they were treated to non-album single Say No To Love, as well as a song of their EP The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, called The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Yes, that is correct – the Pains of Being Pure at Heart played a song called the Pains of Being Pure at Heart off of an EP called the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. No original song titles or anything kicking around in the collective brains, guys?

Kip also mentioned that the band was interviewed by Damien Abraham from Fucked Up at Osheaga, the festival in Montreal. He commented on what an interesting character Damon is, and when he thinks of Toronto, he thinks of Damien.

Other interesting moments include the guitar solo in Everything With You, which was oddly 10000 times louder than anything else heard during the concert. It’s unclear why it was necessary to crank the volume randomly to 11, but I’m not the artist. Kip came out by himself for the first song of the encore, Contender, and commented that it was the first song they wrote, about being a loser, and then trying to be less of one.

Overall, the show was the sounds of a tight, indie pop band, doing what they love, engaging (and attending BBQs of) the audience, and hammering out 15 songs in an hour.

PHM Rating: 8.0 out of 10
Setlist for The Pains of Being Pure At Heart @ The Opera House, Toronto, Canada – August 2, 2011

This Love Is Fucking Right!
Heart in Your Heartbreak
The Body
Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now
Stay Alive
My Terrible Friend
Come Saturday
Young Adult Friction
Too Tough
Everything With You
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart


Say No to Love

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3 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    pete, i see these guys are on lollapalooza live webcast Sunday at 4 PM

  2. Pete! says:

    You are correct. You should check them out.

  1. 2012/02/24

    […] Pains of Being Pure at Heart (who PeteHatesMusic caught live in Toronto) have an exclusive EP out on April 21 for Record Store Day. There will be four songs on the remix […]