It is just amazing to me how popular The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have become. Not that they don't deserve it -- their debut is one of my favorites of the year -- it's just that, as a longtime lover of this sort of music, there's one thing I'd come to accept. It's not the kind of stuff that ever gets popular. Or hasn't before. A year ago, they were playing Cake Shop and the Dead Herring apartment, and that seemed about right for their brand of indie pop, influenced by the Pastels, Black Tambourine, The Wedding Present and Beat Happening. These guys had great songs, but history showed bands like this just wouldn't get much bigger.
Fast-forward a year later and the Pains are headlining a show at the Seaport and it's as packed as I've ever seen it, rivalling that Animal Collective show two years ago. The weather is perfect mind you, but people are there to see them. And they just sound amazing -- the songs roar, the band is tight, you can actually hear Peggy's keyboards and Kip has become a confident singer. Ripping through their set with nary a word in between songs, the crowd bobs and everyone's smiling. The band is smiling too. They are having fun. The new songs are good. While I can't see them ever dethroning Linkin Park or The Black Eyed Peas from the Billboard charts, tonight, the Pains make it seem like anything's possible.
Tour dates and a few more pictures after the jump.