Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Concert Review: Crystal Castles at House of Blues

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 7:38 AM


Throughout the first half of the raucous 90-minute set Crystal Castles delivered last night in front a half-full House of Blues, the group appeared to be having technical difficulties. Given that everything about the band’s electronic music involves the use of high tech electronic gear, technical problems can really throw a wrench into the operation. To be honest, though, the band’s noisy approach makes it difficult to tell when something is actually going wrong — the music is a sonic stew that sounds like the band’s mixed Cocteau Twins dream pop with Sleigh Bells-inspired punk and noise pop. In fact, there was so much distortion on singer Alice Glass’s vocals that her actual words were often hard to discern.

The technical problems, however, didn’t stop the lively singer from getting a workout. Wearing a short black skirt and mid-riff baring black T-shirt, she looked like some kind of punk rock Raggedy Ann doll as she danced and bobbed her head, tossing her bright pink hair from side to side. She occasionally lit up a cigarette and at one point wrapped her microphone chord around her neck to form a noose of sorts. Like some kind of enraged performance artist, she was always up to something and she regularly dove into the audience (and would somehow find her way back to the stage unscathed). She would also hop atop touring drummer Christopher Chartrand’s kit to bang away at one of his cymbals.

By mid-set, the technical problems seemed to have been fixed and the show gathered some real momentum. “Alice Practice” benefited from beefier bass and Glass seductively swung her microphone stand as she delivered screechy vocals over the glitchy beats. The set-closing “Not in Love” was the one song that had real heart, even if Glass didn’t deliver it as eloquently as guest Robert Smith did on the studio version. While the set ended rather abruptly with nothing like a formal goodbye, the band was ushered back for an encore that included a noisy rendition of “Doe Deer.” Glass again dove into the crowd as the band cranked up the strobe lights to a blinding level and put an exclamation mark on a performance that thrilled despite (what appeared to be) technical difficulties.

Tags: ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation