Friday, October 9th, 2015
Purson has been a band that has been on my list of “bands I must see” for nearly two years now. After hearing their self-titled debut, The Circle and the Blue Door, I was made a fan right away. The soulful singing, the 60’s inspired psychedelic rock groove, and hell, just everything about them made a lasting connection with me. In 2014 they put out the magnificent In The Meantime EP and I just hoped that it would bring them to the US for a tour of some sorts but it just seemed like Purson would be a band I would never get to see live.
When it was announced that Purson would be supporting Ghost on their 2015 North American tour I did a happy dance of epic proportions and impatiently waited for the day to arrive. Upon my early arrival after an amazing interview with Purson (coming soon), I was shocked to see such a huge line already. Ghost fans are a unique bunch. These people take their band seriously. Decked out in an array of Ghost tour shirts, nothing topped the two people dressed as Nameless Ghouls and a pregnant nun (at least I hope she was supposed to be pregnant. If not, sorry). While I appreciated the fandom, nothing could convince me that Ghost was any good or that they would come near to touching the awesomeness of Purson.
After a kick ass fish sandwich, fries, and a couple of cold Stellas at Ted’s Montana Grill across the street I made my way into Tabernacle. I bypassed the $11.00 beers and made my way to a nice, comfy seat up in the top level of the venue. The venue was probably a little less than 3/4 full but to see so many people present for Purson just added to the excitement. Purson took the stage to a huge roar and without any hesitation kicked right into “Danse Macabre” from In The Meantime. This was an absolutely perfect opening song as it opens with such an infections, groovy riff. I was taken back with just how powerfully soulful Rosalie Cunningham’s voice was in a live setting. It cut through the room like a knife as the band played with relentless heart and passion. “Spiderwood Farm” continued on with the groove and really brought the house to a roar as they slid right into “Leaning on a Bear” without missing a beat. The interplay between the band members on this song was staggering as they played off of each other while noticeably having a great time on stage. In a time where so many bands seem to be “too cool” to do so, it’s a great change to see a band truly having a great time on stage. It’s obvious that Purson really loves the music that they make and performing it live as well.
Purson’s 40 minute set was as visually awe inspiring as their music was. The overall image of the band decked out in their best psychedelic thrift store threads really draws on the eye while the band looks exactly how they sound in all of their colorful psych rock splendor. Song after song Purson seemed to win over the crowd with their passionate and confident performance. Purson, while a very tight band, played with an almost jam band kind of looseness that made it feel very much live as opposed to feeling like a carbon copy of their recorded material. The setlist was a perfectly sequenced collection of some of Purson’s best material including the newly released “Electric Landlady” and an absolutely stellar “Wanted Man” which brought the house down with some of the most facemelting jamming I’ve seen in a while. This song just wrapped everything up perfectly and totally left me wanting more.
40 minutes just seemed to go by way too fast. I could’ve easily watched Purson play for hours and with the confidence and passion they displayed I can honestly say that they are more than capable of captivating an audience of any size. Their live presence is so big that the room could barely contain them as their music took me on an ethereal journey of sorts. After this performance Purson has easily solidified their place in my top tier of favorite bands. I found this Purson performance to be an incredibly moving and touching one. I was completely blown away and they made me feel every note and every word. This is exactly what any band that strives for greatness should aim for. That is some powerful stuff people and that, right there, is Purson. I foresee quite an amazing future for this band and I can’t wait for opportunity to see them live again.