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crystal castles

Crystal Castles Hit The Right Note at Wrongbar

Like so many other people who work in the service industry, I miss quite a few weekend shows that I would love to attend. If I do get off by eleven, it's usually difficult to make it out to more than one event so needless to say, I was pleased to see that Crystal Castles were playing a second show at Wrongbar.

I'd like to see more bands do a couple of shows but I doubt that many would be up to the task. It's kind of like going out Friday when you know you're doing something Saturday; sure you can try to maintain your buzz at a certain level but the odds lean towards a certain amount of weariness beginning to seep in through the cracks of your party-faรงade.

The first show had been huge and I'm sure many people had no doubt the second one was going to be just as good. Massive hype notwithstanding, Ethan Kath and Alice Glass are very, very good at what they do and even though my exposure to the band was limited to numerous music blogs singing their praises, I had that jumpy feeling in my stomach that you get when you know you're about to see a fantastic show.

My buddy and I arrived smack-dab in the opening of their set and while he set himself up on the side to take some photos, I snaked my way through the dance floor to see how close I could get to the front.

It was no easy task. People were already going nuts and a mosh pit-vibe prevailed as I struggled to get closer. If the stage was an altar and Alice a goddess, the crowd were happy to worship her with a nearly religious intensity that was remarkable when you consider how difficult it can be to get that kind of reaction out of many Toronto crowds.

As I rocked to and fro in the middle of this madness, I was reminded of seeing Gogol Bordello play in New York City back in 2005. I'm sure everyone can recall a band or two who understands what goes into getting people excited at their shows and I was happy to see that Crystal Castles didn't simply hit play and expect their songs to carry the crowd through the evening.

Alice bounced around the barely-there stage, nearly falling into the masses, while the drummer ably demonstrated why he was so much better than a machine. When the strobes weren't going, it was dark which kept everyone in a state of barely-contained excitement. Their songs, which are terrific at home, sound even better live, which is as it should be.

I had such a good time that I even bought a drink for a sketchy street-chick who had somehow scammed her way into Wrongbar and didn't get too pissed off while rescuing my buddy from an irate party-goer who thought that putting the boot into a drunken guy hanging onto the pavement is appropriate method of communicating one's disapproval for past behavior.

If anything my only complaint about the show would be that it was too short but this is a small quibble when you consider how much intensity Ethan and Alice bring with their fuck-you-attitude and massively-engaging blips-beats. You can be sure I'll be checking out each and every one of their future appearances in Toronto.

For a brief (but lovely) clip of the night, check out the video below:

The following is a Flickr set of the night:


Photo courtesy of Isaac Zelunka

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