Last night I did something I’d never done before in all my years of concert-going. I purchased a ticket just to see an opening act. I left before the headliner even took the stage. And I walked 3 miles to do it.
The opening act in question was a Portland-based band called Pure Bathing Culture. I found out about them last month when their Daytrotter Session was released. I don’t bother with most of the site’s sessions, but I just had to find out what a band called Pure Bathing Culture sounded like. I was curious.
It turns out that a band called Pure Bathing Culture sounds a bit like the first ten seconds of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” but without the repeated get up, wake up whispers. Do you remember that famous Roland synthesizer sound that opens Gaye’s song? Well, most of the Pure Bathing Culture songs begin with a similar sound. The comparison quickly falls apart when the inherent creepiness of “Sexual Healing” disappears and is replaced by dreamy female vocals that sort of make me feel like I’m floating in the breeze high above the 80s. Probably over a lake or ocean. Maybe in a bubble I can control with my mind. I don’t know.
No matter how poorly I’m able to describe the band’s sound, what’s important here is that I became fascinated with the songs featured in their Daytrotter Session. In a mere three weeks I’ve already listened to that session more than any of the other 200+ sessions I’ve downloaded from the site over the years.
I dug around the internet and investigated the band. I learned they were coming to Cincinnati to open for Father John Misty. I also gathered all the Pure Bathing Culture songs I could find. I purchased a digital copy of their self-titled EP, downloaded their free song, and even lowered myself so far as to watch music on YouTube. Altogether, I found eight songs.
Pure Bathing Culture played six of those eight songs at the concert last night. They also played two songs I’d never heard before. I assume those two songs will be on Moon Tides, the band’s debut LP coming out later this summer. The first new song was particularly catchy and I look forward to hearing the studio version when it gets officially released. Here’s the setlist (the songs in quotation marks are the ones I didn’t know):
Setlist: Lucky One/Pendulum/Golden Girl/Dream the Dare (“don’t you know I think about it all the time”)/Gainesville/Silver Shore’s Lake/Seven to One (“seven to one”)/Ivory Coast
After the set, I went out to the merch table to purchase a physical copy of the EP I’d already downloaded from Amazon. There was a older, friendly-looking lady sitting at the table. I tried to buy the record from her, but it turned out she wasn’t actually selling the Pure Bathing Culture merchandise; she was just borrowing their chair while she waited around to meet Father John Misty. I wandered a bit.
The Pure Bathing Culture singer eventually showed up and took over the merch table. I purchased the record from her and then headed home. As I was making my way around the corner of the venue, I saw Father John Misty and his band hanging around outside waiting to go on. They looked like rock stars. I felt bad leaving before they took the stage, but I’d enjoyed Pure Bathing Culture’s set so much that I just wanted to get home and think about it. I didn’t want the bubbly, floating sensation I’d felt during the entire show to disappear in an onslaught of electric guitars. I wanted to hang on to it for as long as I could.
The Pure Bathing Culture high stuck with me until I hit the railroad tracks on the walk home. Then my knees started to hurt and it was clear I was no longer floating around in a bubble. Oh well.
Here are a couple more concert-related images: