Crystal Castles at Electric Ballroom
This fierce electro-pop duo make the crowd wild. The set is raucous and exhilarating. There is none of the awkwardness and self-restraint so common to London gigs here. While their disjointed electronic sound on paper does not seem to be universally enjoyable, the mix of different people attending this concert proves that Crystal Castles have reached wider audiences. The band is able to offset noise with melody, creating something to dance to.
Less than five minutes in and a mosh pit forms. Edith Frances, her pink hair dripping with sweat and water, jumps around the stage encouraging the audience. The concertgoers collide against each other to the blistering noise of Fleece, then jump in time to the inconsistent electronic heartbeat of Concrete. The pair’s most pop-sounding track, Kept, enables everyone to dance rather than jump, until everything descends into anarchy again.
The whole concert is a trance. The music and lighting intoxicate. It is an hour and bit of intensive movement. Strobe lighting encourages and intensifies the frenzy, at points gold lights from the stage illuminate the crowd, revealing sweaty and frantic dancers. Crystal Castle’s music, especially from the album Amnesty, is angry, like a cry to arms against injustice in society. Their songs resonate uncomfortably but from the reaction in the room this seems to be what people want. The musicians do not hide from controversial issues but scream at them and fans are encouraged to do the same. The duo’s music could fall into the trap of ostensibly edgy for the sake of it, but the grit of Frances’s performance saves them from such a fate. In a climate of huge political unrest, angry protest bands such as this are becoming evermore popular; what makes Crystal Castles different is that they have not abandoned melody in the process.
Photo: Kaitlin Behan
For further information about Crystal Castles and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Concrete here: