Crystal Castles were no speed demons when it came to setting up their equipment, eating up at least 45 minutes of time as the excited audience began to grow anxious. A fog machine was hard at work all the while, pouring out a thick mist the eventually spread all the way to the lobby. At around 9:20, a man involved with the band took the ill-lit stage, grabbed the mic, and relayed to the audience, “Well, one thing I wanted to say before we got started with tonight’s show was that before this tour, Alice, our vocalist, broke her ankle. The doctors and the managers all told us that we would have to cancel the tour, and she said, ‘F*** THAT!!!.” The crowd went wild, and the second that the man had finished his brief message and left the stage, Crystal Castles had taken his place, cloaked in just as much darkness as he had been.
Without further notice, they launched into "Fainting Spells" while still nearly invisible, letting the song build for a bit before turning a high-power strobe-light on the audience that was present in various forms for the rest of the night. Fluid motion was no where to be seen, as the strobe’s heavy blast made still photographs out of the crowd’s boisterous movements and vocalist Alice Glass’ larger-than-life performance. Though her voice was often hard to hear, and even more frequently warped through all kinds of machines, Glass remained the star of the show, climbing up on amps or leaning into the crowd depending on the moment. If the injury was holding her back, it was sure hard to tell.
The floor was a generally unsafe place to be, as audience members toppled over onto one another in attempt to dance and jump to the heavy beats. A great number of people filed out of the crowd within the first couple songs, wisely sensing that the middle of the floor was only for the brave. Producer Ethan Kath stood down stage right, his slight nod to the beat his only visible emotion as he remained both hooded and covered in darkness. All in all, the band was often difficult to see, but it was obvious from the get-go that this was their intention. The group cruised through their set, receiving special boosts in crowd energy while playing both"Untrust Us" and "Celestica." Neglecting to offer a word to their fans during their entire set, the band was all done by 10:40, turning on both the lights and some recorded music in order to dissuade an encore. The audience protested for a moment, emphatically chanting, “One more song!” before resigning. But there was never much need for that last tune; both bands had already given it their all.
Both Suuns and Crystal Castles can next be seen tonight at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver B.C. and then on Tuesday, the 8th, at the Showbox SoDo in Seattle, WA. Both bands have music available for purchase via the itunes store, and wherever else music is sold.