Crystal Castles

CrystalCastlesOn November 3, the Kool Haus in Toronto was full of dark, brooding electronic music enthusiasts for the Crystal Castles show.

Since HEALTH was unable to continue touring with the band, Toronto-based Kontravoid took the space as opener. Donning a black suit, a mask, and a poppy in lieu of Remembrance Day, Kontravoid took to the stage and promptly began to churn out ‘beats’. At first, the bass was pulsating and had me captivated, but as his set continued, it became apparent that there was nothing more to his music but the bass – and an overtly loud and obnoxious one, at that. After what seemed like a never-ending stream of a constant, unchanging beat, the set was over and my ears were saved by a mix of old school hip-hop that was put on as a buffer before Crystal Castles began.

The wait between Kontravoid’s and Crystal Castles’ set seemed longer than it actually was. The crowd even began chanting “We want Alice! We want Alice!”. Eventually, the duo came on stage, immediately following a cloud of fog that lingered on stage for the whole set.

Barely visible throughout the set, Alice’s vocals were somewhat drowned out by the music. She crowd surfed a few times but stayed prowling around the stage.

The band stuck mostly to playing old songs including, ‘Untrust Us’, ‘Crimewave’, ‘Alice Practice’ and ‘Courtship Dating’ (encore), all of which sent the crowd into a frenzy. The only songs performed from their latest album (III) were ‘Wrath of God’, ‘Plague’ and ‘Telepath’. Perhaps the band wanted to stick to old favourites and leave the new stuff for fans to seek out on their own.

The concert was basically a light show, an excellent one, but the lack of personal connection between the band and the crowd left me feeling flat. Perhaps that’s just characteristic of electronic-based music shows, though.

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