Gig Review: Crystal Castles | The Forum Theatre | Melb | 1.6.17

Saturday, June 3, 2017
(photo: Kristy Smolcic)

Before Crystal Castles gig, I saw a guy standing at the front of the moshpit wearing sunglasses. I laughed. Little did I anticipate that the dude was indeed the smartest person in the whole venue. I became envious of that guy. He prepared for something I didn't previously predict — ridiculously intense strobing lights. I'm not talking a couple of flashing lights. I referring to lights that felt like I just died and was waiting to be admitted into hell for eternity. Come on guys, did you have to do that to us? The light situation was completely unnecessary, and they could have achieved the rave effect without inducing any potential seizures. 

This gig was the first time I have ever seen Forum Theatre with a black curtain to block off an entire section. Though I don't like commenting on ticket sales, the lack of ticket sales did create an absent energy in the room. In a way, it came across as if they were annoyed at the fact that they didn't sell the venue out and showed a lack of effort because of it. Before the set started, I made a mental note that I wasn't going to compare Edith Frances and former leading lady Alice Glass as they're two different performers, but something was missing in Edith's onstage presence. Yes, she gave the portrayal that she was bursting energy and queen of the rave, but it came across as disingenuous and soulless. The saving grace of the night was Ethan Kath, who knocked it out of the park with his incredible instrumentals. 

Much to their credit, they played a diverse set of offerings from their new and old projects. 'Baptism' went off pretty early in the set, and allowed fans to get warmed up from the get-go. Fans were also treated to performances of the duo's first ever hit 'Crimewave', newer tracks like 'Fleece' and 'Frail' in the middle. They closed up their set with a bang with 'Not In Love'. They returned to play an encore, though it didn't feel necessary. 

Their live presence didn't feel like the Crystal Castles of old. Though I think it was terrific that they presented a well-balanced set that weaved new and old songs perfectly, something was missing in the air and no amount of strobing lights could have saved the lack of soul on their part.

PHOTO GALLERY: Crystal Castles | The Forum Theatre | Melb | 1.6.17
Featuring: Crooked Colours
Photographer: Kristy Smolcic