Saturday, August 14, 2010

You Missed Out: Crystal Castles

Either the Congress Theater has sound issues, or Crystal Castles, or maybe even both. I don't like having to twist my neck to glare at the sound board guys, but I was shaking my head at them in disapproval all too often tonight. But, maybe I should have been giving the dirty looks to the band.

Tonight's Friday the 13th show was a perplexing experience. I thought there would only be one or two openers before Crystal Castles, but instead there were over four. All of them were DJs. Mashups of Lil Wayne, Phoenix and Daft Punk, you know, the usual. Each set was nearly an hour long, more than enough time to bore everybody at the Congress. When those sitting in the balcony didn't get "off their asses" upon hearing one of the DJs (Destructo...) play Vitalic, he called them out and mumbled something about "this place is dead as shit..."

Seriously though, four DJs shouldn't be the opening acts for Crystal Castles. Crystal Castles is more punk than dance. No thanks to whoever made this decision, putting Chicago's 17 and older crowd through a lot of unnecessary thump thump thump tha-thump before the SQUEEEE-EEEE-OOOO-EEEE of the headliners.

So no, you actually did NOT miss out on this one. If you haven't seen Crystal Castles before, my guess is that any past tours of theirs were probably better than this one.

I don't care who brought the issues with sound tonight, because it didn't sound good either way. Who wants to watch a show and ask themselves, "is it supposed to sound like that?" If you've ever had to ask this question, you've been to a bad show. Because even if it WAS supposed to sound like that, well, if it didn't appeal to you, then it just didn't work. Your taste in music is subjective, and you only have to enjoy what you want to enjoy.

Was her mic off?

Did they not turn the drums on in the house until the second song?

Is that bass, or the random rumblings of an earthquake?

What is that sound and where is it coming from?

And this electro-punk front-woman really needs to spend less than half of the set lying on the stage. You're not rocking that hard, girl. Take a nap before the show with the rest of us.

I hate to say these things, because Crystal Castles' debut full length is great, and their follow-up album is even better. Ironically, they're one of my favorite bands to play whenever I'm DJing. So, I guess that's where they belong. For me, Crystal Castles is best in small doses, especially when between The Field and Ratatat.

But hey, maybe the teenagers like it live and sloppy. They were dancing their asses off during Crystal Castles tonight. And I will never tell the kids to stop dancing. Maybe I'm just a cranky old man now, doomed to the balconies for the rest of my rock and roll days. Well, at least there are comfortable seats up there.


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