After vacationing in that desert, known as the Coachella Valley, being enveloped in such exquisite music, as well as sweaty gyrating bodies, weed, lust, sun, and dust, it was nice to go to a show at night, in a regular concert venue, to hear and experience Crystal Castles. They played The Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ, 4/24/13, with the Doldrums as their opener.
I’ll try not to be too harsh, but I could’ve done without the Doldrums, who were like a bunch of kids let loose on stage given carte blanche to fuck with the synths, bang on drums, and pretty much make me want to curse the Fates for bringing this “band” into existence to torment my eyes and ears like the Furies tormenting the damned of the underworld. Luckily, the torment was short and the pain eased by a sympathetic DJ who spun some good tunes including a lot of Joy Division as the stage was set for Crystal Castles. Suddenly, the lights go out and we hear the beginning drone of “Plague”, which then sends shockwaves into the sea of countless bodies in which I waded, bringing forth delicious screams of joy. CC pretty much played songs off their most recent album, ‘III’, including “Wrath of God” and “Transgender”. They also played several singles off of their previous two albums, ‘I’ and ‘II’, including, “Untrust Us”, “Celestica”, “Crimewave”, and “Not in Love”.
It was a great night for dancing with very few lulls. However, there are some people, like my darling Hayley, who felt that the show was simply a “crazy light show, Alice Glass spitting alcohol on the crowd, and nothing but sound effects”. Honestly, I can’t say that I totally disagree. There are times, even with some of my favorite electronic groups, when trying to re-create in a live setting all that is perfectly sequenced, programmed, and aligned in a studio recording is a challenge, especially when the venue isn’t at all helpful in their sound system. Still, CC put on a pretty good show for us freaks and dancing queens. Overall, I was in heaven, or at least as close to heaven one might experience when one’s life is “one giant dark room”.