Written by Jaxson
Worth the Wait: Crystal Castles Show Review
Energy. Pure, haunting energy moved the tired crowd into a frenzy as the lights went down and suddenly ignited with the rush of wind from the pumping subwoofers. We had waited long enough for this. And maybe that was Crystal Castles’ plan all along: make the crowd stand in anticipation for over an hour during the transition from the opening group to their set. Maybe they were counting on the crowd’s growing frustration and restlessness, knowing that the opening song of their set, “Baptism,” would act as that release from the built up tension. Maybe they knew we would forget everything once they hit their first note…or maybe they were just being prima donna rock stars.
Whatever the reason for the insanely long gap between Doldrums (who were as exciting to watch as their name suggests) and Crystal Castles, it was all an afterthought once Alice Glass shouted her first noises into the mic. The crowd around me broke into a wild mania as the group’s commanding front-woman spazzed across the stage. I myself have been a fan of the group for some time, but the show took my interests and respect to another level. This was the essence of punk..bottled up in an EDM package. The energy surging through the room was a strong as I’d felt at a show. And the music took on a new form live. Songs that seemed borderline slower on their records were morphed into wild dark anthems live. My personal favorite song on their latest record “III,” entitled “Wrath of God,” starts with a slightly ominous nursery-rhyme-style synth intro. It picks up into a chorus-like section with a steady dance kick, a glassy synth and Alice’s voice shrieking high vocal lines soaked in reverb. My feeling through listening to the record was that the song really changed during the chorus-like part into something rather epic. But live, the entire song, from start to finish, had power behind it. The crowd certainly helped with this, as hands and fists were thrust into the air, mirroring every bass thump. But Crystal Castles seemed to evoke their own energy from these “slower” parts. Their spectacular, strobe-driven light show certainly didn’t hinder them from achieving this. And neither did Ms. Glass’ multiple stage dives.
I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised with the show. The group didn’t shy away from their more popular songs from previous releases (they actually played “Untrust Us,” which I was shocked about). And the overall feel in the room was inviting, albeit dark and eery as shit at times…hey, it works for these guys. Crystal Castles has their image nailed down, from the dark clothes and makeup to the giant flask of Jack Daniels Alice swigged on stage between songs. They certainly sold me on the frenzied mania. And I will most definitely be right back at the front of the stage for their next show in Atlanta, once again hopping and sweating into a tranced-out hypnosis. Let’s just hope next time they spare the south from another hour long wait.
Click the link to see when they’ll be in a city near you! http://crystalcastles.com/tour/