Although they call Portland, Oregon home, Pure Bathing Culture (PBC) felt right at home at Jacobs Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio on June 7. PBC were the lucky openers for what could be considered one of the biggest summer shows to hit The Land this year with CHVRCHES and Death Cab for Cutie sharing the bill. PBC, which originally consisted of Sarah Versprille on vocals and keyboard and guitarist Daniel Hindman breezed through a short 30 minute set that covered much of 2015’s Pray for Rain release.
The odd start time, 6:55, was most likely the main contributor to the sparse crowd that eventually began to fill the pavilion before CHVRCHES was set to play. This didn’t seem to be much of a hindrance. Although originally a duo, PBC is now smartly backed by bassist Zach Tillman and drummer Brian Wright. The addition of the newest band members helped add a richer sound to PBC’s slow and airy melodies. Versprille, dressed in pure white, let her empyreal voice ring out while Hindman accompanied on guitar. At times Versprille would coyly look out into the crowd, but seemed more interested in focusing on bandmate Hindman and staying in her own world on stage with eyes closed and mic reaching heavenward.
Stand-out songs definitely included “Pray for Rain” which shares the same name with their latest release. The upbeat song stands in direct contrast from the band’s usual calm demeanor, gaining interest from those in the crowd, turning to friends and nodding along. “Pendulum” off of 2013’s Moon Tides was also favorably received.
While Pure Bathing Culture sparked the interest of those anxiously awaiting CHVRCHES and Death Cab for Cutie, it might have benefited the band more if they were in a smaller, more intimate setting that would allow them to better connect with their fans than the expansive stage of Jacobs Pavilion. Hopefully they can return to Cleveland to do just that in the near future.