Over the past year or so, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have easily been one of my favorite bands if not my favorite pop band. I got to see them in concert last year at the Pitchfork Music Festival, which turned out to be a super joyous event for the big crowd. And earlier this year, I drove down to Bloomington, IN to see my newer pop favs Surfer Blood bump out tunes from their album, Astrocoast. So it was completely natural that I get freakishly excited when I saw Pains and Surfer Blood were gonna be hitting Cleveland together. I went over to the show with a bunch of friends, who were also with me at Pitchfork, including James from Shock Mountain. First up was NYC band Hooray For Earth, whom I really hadn’t heard much of. I checked em out the day of the show, and one of their tracks, “Comfortable, Comparable”, stuck with me (and still has). I showed up a little bit late for the show, but just in time for their set. Their set was very much dance-ready, but no one in the ballroom was dancing, but I got my groove on anyway! Surfer Blood was next, and they had high hopes for me after their show in Bloomington was a good one. While they played very well, I will say that their frontman was acting quite strange, like he had just had his first beer (which wouldn’t be surprising at all!). They seemed almost overly confident, which doesn’t work for them cause their teenage innocence plays a big part of that band. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart set up, and quickly began their set with “This Love Is Fucking Right”. The mega-poppiness they were playing was too much to not smile. During a break in between songs, vocalist/guitarist Kip Berman told everyone how all of their songs are about creepy things, sex, or creepy sex, and then promptly jumped into “Come Saturday”. Berman also talked about jumping into a neighboring Pavement argument, the art of icing, and also gave shout-outs to Music Saves, Star Pop and Tom from Afternoon Naps. Once they finished their set with “Everything With You”, they left the stage and returned with a bigger cast including members of Surfer Blood and Hooray For Earth as they played their early self-titled track, “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart”. It was clearly evident that everyone on stage was having a great time, and they genuinely shared a bond beyond just touring together. All of this general happiness flooded the crowd, as no one wanted to leave after they had finished. I talked to a bunch of the members from all the bands, including Kip Berman who had nothing but good things to say about Cleveland! Hit the jump for a ton of photos, and videos of Surfer Blood’s “Take It Easy” and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s “Young Adult Friction” and “Higher Than The Stars”, and their setlist!
P.S. Check out James’ write-up on the show right here!
Hooray For Earth
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart