Live Review: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Rock & Roll Hotel, 5/21/14

It seems impossible that it's been three odd years or so since I last took in the glorious sweetness that is The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. And yet, that's exactly the situation. Thankfully, the band rectified things most agreeably, and their set at the Rock & Roll Hotel was nothing short of giddy pop perfection. 

Sporting a new lineup (lose some, gain some, as it were - and now the band can boast a set of twins!), The Pains rolled into town in support of their excellent new record, Days of Abandon. I'm convinced that seeing this band live can turn just about any frown upside down, and though I've been in a pretty good mood lately the band made me feel nigh on gleeful.

The set was heavily slanted to the new material, which was just fine by me. The first track from Days of Abandon, "Art Smock," kicked things off, and the gently wistful song actually got the DC crowd to hush a little with its prettiness. "Until The Sun Explodes" really set the tone for the poptastic evening, somehow recalling "Friday I'm in Love" while bursting with rambunctious sweetness. The new songs definitely feel a bit more purely pop than, say, the first Pains record, but there's a little bite to them that's just magical.

It was such a treat to hear older favorites like "Come Saturday," "Young Adult Friction," and "This Love is Fucking Right!," and they fit right in with the newer songs, balancing the new Pains with a little of the crunch of older Pains. Each song was as pop rocks perfect as the next, enchantingly infectious and completely spot on. The set was over in what felt like a flash, and that was the only instance a frown crossed my face the entire night. Hopefully it won't be another three years until my next Pains show...     

Full set list: 

Art Smock
Until The Sun Explodes
Heart in Your Heartbreak
The Body
Simple and Sure
Come Saturday
Young Adult Friction
Life After Life
This Love is Fucking Right!
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Everything With You
Teenage Dream

[photo courtesy The Pains of Being Pure at Heart]

[posted 5.24.14]   


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