At Richard’s on Richards on Friday, June 6
Ummm, well, that was fucking lame. It’s pretty sad when the highlight of a show is a tossup between the opening band and that slutty girl who was grinding the air on top of the speaker between bands.
Toronto-based indie kids DD/MM/YY (who were meant to whet the appetites of anxious Crystal Castles fans) wound up being the champions of the night with their staccato-style scream rock, ending on a perfect note of we-just-broke-our-bass-drum-pedal-because-we’re-so-fucking-heavy. Awesome. Following DD/MM/YY’s self-destruction, the forecast for the rest of the evening looked good as the DJs of Half Alive managed to massage the dance party into full-frenzy anticipation.
The medley of characters, ranging from Pit Pub regulars to Strathcona greasers, were accepting of each other’s differences and amped to expel their pent-up tension. The anticipation level was extra high thanks to Crystal Castles having cancelled a show scheduled for this past March. But sadly, for unexplained reasons, the headliners kept the crowd waiting a smidge too long (like, a goddamn hour), and slowly things went from love-in to all-out boo party.
A tiny shred of hope remained (even after someone in the balcony dumped an entire beer on my head) when the impatient crowd was finally graced with the presence of the tardy Torontonian dance-noise outfit. Frontwoman Alice Glass thrashed around the stage accompanied by a strobe light; bandmate Ethan Kath and his tricked-out, Atari-chip-powered keyboard; and guest drummer Kriss Rites. Dropping 8-bit, electro-rave, and screamo bombs left, right, and centre (including “Alice Practice”, the MySpace track that put Crystal Castles on the map), the synth-pop team began to win back the room. At one point, Glass, clad in a grey skirt, blue tights, and a pair of well-worn Converses, slithered her way onto the punters’ outstretched arms. The crowd proceeded to claw at her (not gonna lie) totally awesome Leonardo DiCaprio T-shirt, as though they would be catapulted into a higher rank of cool if only they could touch it and her tiny floating body.
Just as the writhing wannabes in the audience were reaching their long-awaited climax 30 minutes into the set, the twosome and their hired hand disappeared off-stage, never to return.
So, that was the make-up show Vancouver waited three months for, a half-hour set and no encore? Justifiably—and right on cue—the boo party reignited.
Needless to say, once the crowd realized Crystal Castles wasn’t coming back, heads were hung low and the night drew to a close, resulting in a major sense of being cheated and a serious case of blue balls.