Photographer Minh Tran took in the Crystal Castles show at the Roseland on Monday. Here's what he heard and saw.
Sequestered in a minute area stage left, directly facing an array of rapid-fire, high-power stage lights, and allowed only to photograph the first three songs, I mustered what I could. Then I spent the remainder of the show watching the crowd take photos four inches from Alice's face with their HD phones. I imagine this is what the horseshoe maker felt like watching the construction of a freeway.
Much, much more after the jump!
Alice Glass emerged fully formed; her deep cadre of dramatic stage moves have not expanded in the three shows I've attended over the past five years, because they were already perfect to begin with. And while she is not the first darkly beautiful front woman to wail and flail on stage with abandon, I can't recall it ever being so mesmerizing in combination with the music being presented. What has expanded is her color palette—shocking purple hair and blue tights pushing beyond the usual all black everything.
Ethan Kath appeared to be struggling with equipment issues, technicians plugging and replacing keyboards a few times throughout the show, but he didn't seem too upset about things, and it made no discernible difference to the sound or music. With three albums in their repertoire, the set was tight with hits and relieved only by an extended instrumental jam that involved Alice also briefly getting behind the gear to add to the din, and a long light-synchronized drum solo from their unnamed third member behind the kit.
There was no crowd banter, but a short encore to marvel once again in the excellent light/sound spectacle, and then it was off to the streets to find that my bike had been stolen. After mentally accepting the loss, I walked around the corner and found it leaning against a fence, apparently unwanted by its thieves. Crimewave averted.