Every now and then, you come across a show that totally melts your brain. I know that sounds pretty immature but I really don't have any other way of describing this show. I mean, the energy was unparalleled, something of which I rarely see in performers in a venue this size. The set was precise in its production but was so very raw, the emotion of Crystal Castles spilled into the restless crowd. It was a definite experience, one I could see coming but wasn't prepared for at the same time.
Heading into the House of Blues is always a hit or miss experience. And I'm not talking the performance of the a headliner or opening act but the establishment itself. But this evening proved to be an exception to the rule. No real problems. I readied myself and slowly wedged my way to the front, as there would be no photo pit for Crystal Castles. Once settled, I stood in wonderment of the band Doldrums. An unexpected surprise, this group was pretty spectacular. A flourish of electronic wizardry with a big influence on jungle/tribal beats. It really got the crowd going. They would be better suited for opening for Animal Collective but they proved worthy of opening for the 8-bit wonders of Crystal Castles.
After a lengthy changeover and wait (seriously nearly an hour), the space went black and growing murmurs of electronic haze began coming through the PA's. Once they hit their opening notes of "Plague", everybody knew what they were in for. An aggressive dance party led by its ring leader, Alice Glass. Of course, Ethan Kath provides the night's tunes but it's Glass that commands attention. Her presence of a front woman has little competition, especially in the world of electronic music. Even though they are touring in support of their latest effort, (III), it was obvious that their older material is what the crowd came for. There was no denying that when you hear the opening notes of "Alice Practice" or the sonic onslaught of "Baptism". I spent a good chunk of the initial set in the madness (a couple of people behind the barrier) trying to capture photos. No easy task. When the crowd jumped, I followed suit. This was easily be the hardest gig for me to capture in photos or video. But in the end, that was alright. I did what I tend to forget at most shows: I had a ton of fun. I left a sweaty mess and couldn't remember the last time I had done so. So, below are what photos I happened to catch but they in no way can express the energy going through the House of Blues that evening.
Crystal Castles @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 11:30:00 PM Rating: