all photos: Shauna Alexander
all words: Megan Burns
So. Let’s talk amongst ourselves about the events that transpired Friday night. Unfortunately I missed Sinden and Destructo, so if anyone wants to fill us in on those sets please DO IT in the comments section.
I wasn’t able to witness the entire Rusko set as I was running a bit late, but from what I was able to catch, the blaring bass and frantic, sweaty dancing of the crowd seemed like an amazing scene out of Skins. Meaning that I give him a big thumbs up and/or my undying approval.
And now for the Crystal Castles discussion. The terrifying zombie graveyard girl from the cover of the new record graced us with her presence in the form of a giant backdrop, and I really must say she’s not as creepy looking in-person. The visual elements of the set were very much in-keeping with the air of mystery about the band, who spent a solid bit of time in total darkness and fog, and the red and blue lighting they used reminded me of a 3D nightmare that I didn’t want to wake up from.
They performed a solid mix of songs off the new record (ie “Baptism” and “Fainting Spells” etc) as well as older favorites like “Untrust Us” and “Black Panther”. Much to my surprise, Alice bantered a bit with the crowd in between songs, although I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what she actually said. All I know is she screamed her lungs out, worked that stage and crowd surfed like a pro. After the set was finished, the band came back out to play a little encore for the fans who stuck it out until the very end.
Okay so those were the good bits. If you agreed with me for any/all of that, you might want to just peruse the pictures now as I’m about to be slightly (and reluctantly) critical. Slash I may very may well be totally incorrect in my perceptions but it’s JUST THE WAY I FEEL OKAY?! At the risk of being “that” person, I have to tell you that this was my fourth time seeing Crystal Castles.
This explains why my expectations (and the fact that I even had expectations) were pretty high for this particular show; I think if it had been my first time seeing them, I’d probably have been super impressed. And don’t get me wrong here, I fucking love Ethan and Alice and Chris. I would give them my kidneys. But I was a bit disappointed with the energy/vibes for the set.
Or, I guess it wasn’t necessarily disappointment that I felt, but there was something that was off about the show for me. There seemed to be a bit less madness and theatricality about Alice this time, and the banter (even though I couldn’t really hear what was said) sort of diminished the mysteriousness…just little things like that altered the overall feeling I took away from the show. I guess more than anything it just felt (to me) like there wasn’t that magical chaotic sense of urgency this time around. And there could have been a lot of (personal) factors at fault for this, like, for instance, my lingering hangover from Thursday night, my general lack of inebriation, or my position in the crowd.
Whatever the case, I’d like to think it was an “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of situation. Okay, okay, before the Debbie Downer noise plays me off, I’d still like to say that I still had a face-melting time (both literally and figuratively), and no hard feelings in the slightest. What’d you guys think? Am I totally off my rocker?