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Wednesday, March 09, 2011
On 03.03.11, Crystal Castles played another long sold-out Southern California show, in an outpost just to the east of Los Angeles - this round, in support of their second eponymous release "Crystal Castles, II." Just underway on their latest North American tour, CC delivered a show that was equally as fierce as it was indelible, in low-fi synths & pulsing beats.
Composed of Ethan Kath (multi-instrumentalist) and Alice Glass (vocalist), as well as tour drummer, Crystal Castles have made their live minimalist audio/visual barrage something to be loved and feared. CC have harnessed an early DIY punk attitude and channeled it through the their own envisioning of chip-modified electronica, stepping into something new.
As the show began the tour manager came on stage making an introductory note that Alice had broken her ankle some weeks back in Tokyo. The question had come up if their tour should be postponed. True to form, Alice said: "...FUCK THAT, we're playing..." and the venue lights went down.
Starting the night's mayhem was "Fainting Spells," the noisy and unsettling opening track from their most recent album. This, preformed with a cast & crutch & bottle of Jack - none of which slowed the show down for a second. Following the opener, they launched into equally edgy songs, such as "Doe Deer" and "Alice Practice." This was interspersed with hits such as "Crimewave," "Courtship Dating," and "Celestica," mixing retro electronica soundscapes with effected vocals, to a danceable & chaotic end. Succinctly said: Crystal Castles played with an intense passion and sense-of-urgency that's rare to find.
As the band was untethered by any continuous lighting, the beats and strobes propelled the audience all-but in-the-dark, providing a time-laps experience with waves of chaotic noise and electro-pop hooks. In the evolution of electro-based bands, Crystal Castles show their live musical progression to combine electronica with an edge as sharp as a surgical blade.
Unlike some live shows, the Crystal Castles 75 minute set flew by leaving the audience (as well as myself) craving more, even as the encore finished... //ie: see them this summer on tour//
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