The last time Crystal Castles were in Dublin, the chiptune dance duo left a sour taste in many a mouth after they played a 30 minute set in Kennedys. If this was to occur again last night, at €15 a pop, the audience would be paying 50 cent a minute. 50 cent a minute! Why that’s the price per minute of a UK off-peak call! It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘phoning it in’.
Anyway, it’s a new day, it’s a newly-opened venue and Crystal Castles have a new 16-track debut album out. First to the venue. A large enough venue with a dark warehouse vibe with a capacity of near 700 in our estimation. The walls are decorated by graffiti artist Maser and the PA system was very capable. The venue is a real coup for Whelans and The Village and should become the venue of choice for alternative promoters (Andrew’s Lane Theatre = ALT).
State arrived just after 9pm and caught the end of support act Ugly Megan, a cutesy, fluffy and forgettable guitar-synth twosome. Following that we had to endure nearly an hour of Trev Radiator and his Trashed DJs. Trev was throwing an after-party with Crystal Castles following the gig so himself and three other DJs were getting the party started early. It was obvious from the moment we stepped inside the door, that the venue was largley occupied by kids from 16-20 years old. There were glowstick-laden nu-rave kids, walking haircuts, Nathan Barley clones, extremely fashion conscious, and normal ‘non-distinguishable by fashion’ folk dotted in-between.
At 10.20pm, Alice Glass, Ethan Kath and an un-named live drummer, took to the stage and launched into their remix of Klaxons’ ‘Atlantis to Interzone’. Alice was a ferocious frontwoman, leaping around the stage in a frenzied fashion, lit by a heavy strobe. A great frontwoman, but no vocalist (Not that she pretends to be). Most of her vocal performance consisted of alternating between shouting indecipherably and whispering in hushed tones. The music was consistently 4/4 and when they played songs from the new album, much of it was unrecognisable as they left the best melodies and hooks from those songs out of the performance. Favourites ‘Alice Practice’ and ‘Air War’ received a great reaction but sure enough, at 11.05pm – 45 minutes into the set, it was over – no surprise really. The best songs on the album were left out – ‘Untrust Us’, and ‘Good Time’, much to State’s disappointment.
There were a few rumblings of disgruntlement afterwards at the short set, but perhaps it was just enough. With plenty of staggering, inebriated youngsters buzzing outside, State gets the feeling the majority of the crowd cared little about the brevity of the set. It was a school-night after all..
By Dan Dennison.