Last Night: Crystal Castles, Mr. Kitty at House of Blues

Crystal Castles, Mr. Kitty
House of Blues
September 14, 2010

Better than:
the last time Crystal Castles came through town.



A blown-up, ghostly image of the cover of Crystal Castles II served as the band's backdrop, while blue strobes intermittently illuminated the stage.

Then Ethan Kath emerged, and stood behind his synths--where he remained the rest of the night--while front woman, Alice Glass lay flat on her back, in the center of the strobe-induced chaos.

Bass was rumbling so hard, one could feel it in their chest. The crowd was elated, bursting with cheers, yelps, screams. It was noisy. Very noisy.

And then the room fell dark and silent. But it was but a quick moment of silence; half a second later, the stage was flooded with green lights and Crystal Castles burst into its set. By the band's second song, "Baptism" (see above), the eclectic, all-ages HOB crowd was going nuts.

Glass, who was wearing black high-top chucks, tights and a navy blue pencil skirt, jumped--with the help of a large bodyguard-looking-guy--into the crowd, where she continued screaming into the mic.

Glass' vocals broke once or twice, but nobody seemed to notice or care as the frontwoman surfed on top of eager hands.

After being returned to the stage, Glass collapsed--for theatrics, of course--and within seconds, Kath broke into "Courtship Dating." There were added effects on top of the already convoluted, multi-layered track, and Glass, whose energy was clearly still in tact, screamed some words into the mic and then hopped on top of the drum set, where she screamed some more. There were a few times throughout the night where she didn't look entirely unlike a four-year-old throwing a tantrum on stage. 

Nearly halfway through the band's show, Glass jumped back into the crowd, then emerged back on stage with an enormous rip in the back of her navy pencil skirt. Let's just say we're grateful she was wearing underwear. Glass remained either unaware or indifferent to her bum exposure, and kept up her unruly thrashing, at one point trotting up and down the stage, derriere exposed to the packed HOB crowd.

The band's entire set consisted of an even first-to-second album song ratio, and was packed with non-stop energy. There were no substantial breaks, either. Glass managed to smoke cigarettes and drink out of a bottle of Maker's Mark on stage while flailing around and screaming.

It was some very talented multitasking on her part.

While Crystal Castles never officially addressed the crowd to apologize for last year's not-so-admirable behavior, at the end of the band's high-energy performance, Glass leapt, one final time, into the crowd, and thanked fans personally for coming out. She stayed there for a few minutes, graciously shaking the hands of her adoring fans. The band and the fans alike, it seemed, were gracious beyond expectation.

Earlier in the night, young Arlington-based opening act Mr. Kitty put on an animated show.

One of the highlights of the nearly hour-long set was an electro-meets-screamo rendition of Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone," in which the duo succeeded in getting a good chunk of the wall-to-wall House of Blues crowd to participate with them in a dance- and sing-along.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I was among those who waited outside the Granada Theater for a couple of hours last year, only to have my heart stomped on by Crystal Castles when they announced that they didn't feel like playing to the sold-out-crowd. OK, it wasn't that bad, but I was certainly annoyed at having wasted my entire evening standing outside in Texas heat. And while I remained bitter towards Crystal Castles for a while, after listening to Crystal Castles II, I've since dropped all grudges and regained my admiration for the band.

Random Note: Arlington's Mr. Kitty was a lot of fun. So keep your eyes on the blog for more info regarding the electro act.

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