It is summer which means we’ll find Crystal Castles’ singer Alice Glass perching onstage like a sexy gothic crow. Oakland, California already needed to prepare itself for the people’s reaction to a high-profile murder verdict. Now it needs to brace itself for Crystal Castles. Wildly unpredictable, Glass is the inky eye of its stormy live performances. So in case of technical difficulties, we advise newbie sound guys to wear cups.
Crystal Castles have been touring Europe supporting their second album, Crystal Castles (II), released last May. Now they descend on America with 12 dates sponsored by the HARD Music Festival. Attending their concerts is the best way to experience the group. By experience, I mean literally. With past shows, Glass and musician Ethan Kath have managed to replicate a reloading Matrix with sets featuring light towers, fog and blinding floodlights.
During shows, Kath hunkers behind synthesizers and computers loading chaos. Then, the deceptively quiet Glass whips into a frenzy, writhing and crawling around the stage and on equipment, which occasionally gets thrown about in a way that would make The Who proud. Of all her antics, her crowd surfing is her most famous and documented on YouTube. Security usually keeps a death grip on her so she doesn’t get sucked away by the crowd. That does occur, however.
Many critics highly rated their latest album. While I liked it, I didn’t find it visceral enough. You can click and read my review here. Crystal Castles’ next single, “Baptism” will drop July 26th. Available digitally and on seven-inch vinyl, it will include a remix of “Celestica” by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. After playing America, they head to South America and then hit more European Dates. Check ‘em out any of these venues and decide for yourself whether they are dance for goths, artful noise or just noise.
Crystal Castles/HARD Music Summer Tour
Oakland, CA Fox Theater – August 6
Los Angeles, CA State Historic Park – August 7
Denver, CO Ogden Theater – August 9
Austin, TX Stubb’s – August 11
Chicago, IL Congress Theater – August 13
Toronto, ON Koolhaus – August 14
Montreal, QC Metropolis – August 15
Boston, MA House Of Blues – August 17
Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory – August 18
Washington, D.C 9:30 Club – August 20
New York, NY Terminal 5 – August 21
Baltimore, MD Sonar – August 22
Here’s their new music video “Celestica.”
Check out their 2008 Glastonbury Festival set. I don’t know whether to call this a musical performance or a mass religious ceremony.