Calgary has been waiting to see Crystal Castles since March of last year when Alice Glass – the vocal half of the acclaimed Toronto-based duo, could not make it to Calgary due to a car accident that left her in the hospital for weeks. Fans were promised their Atari sound-making gods would be back to satiate their thirst, and they made good on that promise… or maybe half of it.
Arriving to the concert around 9:30pm, the back-alley of the venue was already swarmed with nearly 80 people waiting in line to get in: no one wanted to miss a minute of this show even though our sweetheart headliners weren’t slated to start until at least 11pm. As soon as Ethan Kath, the producer/keyboardist settled himself at his stand – barely paying attention to his engrossed crowd as he is known to, the swarms of fans started pushing themselves ever so closely toward the front of the stage. Lights started dancing and Alice sheepishly walked onto the stage. As Kath unleashed the familiar sounds of synth-pop bleeps and squiggles that are the start of “Untrust Us” – first song on the eponymous debut album, Alice bellowed her soft melodies into the mic, losing herself in the excitement and screams of her adoring fans. So much so, that she became quite feverish during the next songs, most notably while performing “Courtship Dating” where the vocalist became more of her punk, screamer-self: thrashing around the stage, standing on the bass drum, falling to the ground and relishing in the hungry thrall of the crowd’s hands.
Unfortunately, the excitement was short-lived as the 8-bit duo played a very short set, in which Glass’s vocals often got lost in Kath’s mixes. Crystal Castles threw down a couple unreleased tracks along with a handful of crowd favorites but did not grace us with an encore performance leaving fans still wanting more and their thirst for the painfully hip duo not quite quenched.