Gig Reviews: Crystal Castles and DJ Sega
photo credit: Jalapeno
It was quite by accident that I found myself dragged along to the home coming gig of Toronto’s Crystal Castles on March 29th last. It’s been quite some time since their supposedly accidental release blew up all over Myspace. And apart from enjoying one or two of their remixes, especially of that Klaxon’s track – I’d diverted my eyes from anything carrying their rather obscured visages. Apparently, that design feature’s all so they can protect the bloke’s membership of another Toronto band called Kill Cheerleader.
At some point they became global mega stars, and of course – once it becomes NME approved as they have been, the whole of Toronto is suddenly interested in them in that weird feed back loop that happens with North American bands getting big in the UK. It’s as if they need to carry a seal of approval from day glo retards in London before any interest gets displayed. The gig was bound to be massive, they featured on the front page of Now magazine, declared home town heroes, unknown in the city but the next big thing in the UK.
They played that mega club Circa I’ve ranted about before, it’s a place that seems like a perfectly mounted manoeuvre to pull in the whole Queen West strip into a packaged lifestyle that can be sold to suburban kids decked in H and M gear, really its the Urban Behavior approach to night clubbing. The place is practically a mall, where swarms of teenagers act in packs, transversing the dance floor grabbing each others hands in case they lose each other before being able to leave their night out on buses and pre-booked taxis that evacuate them back to whatever suburb they came from.
It’s a pretty mental sight, on the second floor there’s this one area you walk through where people hawk novelty toys and drinks at you ,while performers behind glass screens pull your attention away with flirtatious performance art. Back to the music: for a band with a relatively lo-fi production, it was stunning to see them carry a venue that size -whatever the prattish nature of it. And Alice’s stage presence is certainly like something developed from a child hood obsession with mastering the Ian Curtis mode of movement from watching You tube videos. Very charismatic, even if she does look like a psychotic cracked out Dalmatian puppy.
17 Year Old Rye Rye Doing Toronto
And now on to someone else people have been trying to master from Youtube videos. Last night at what used to be called Crosstown, now called Blak, I caught Diplo’s latest most hyped signing DJ Sega along with the seventeen year old Rye Rye, she’s a seventeen year old that provided that ‘shake it to the ground’ vocal toast that’s riding all over dancefloor sounds this side of things for the past six months. You probably know her from that You Tube video. Words can not describe the fun to be had at it, it was mad decent I guess.
The cops took the opportunity of fucking with the promoters at the start of the night, they’ve been dropping in and out of the Toronto club scene for the past month – swooping like hawks at venues where parties are going off. Last month it was the Comfort Zone, a place as the name suggests, is an after hours crash pad for the mangled of the city. I’d nearly venture to say its a social service they provide for wasted suburban kids too high to head home and needing somewhere to come down.
Some of the venues here are less than respectful of their punters, last nights ran out of beer so early in the night you could only assume it was a tactic to move the patrons on to downing the far more expensive variety of liqueurs they hawked. Whatever about being mightier than the sword, it’s also the only time I’ve had my pens taken off me at the door in case they were used as weapons.
The licensing hours have a startling affect on the nature of a night. DJ’s that specialise in doling out the party bangers end up playing wind downs after their peaks. In Dublin everyone goes out on the same climax, its the whole “one more tune” and hanging off the rafters with the lights on thing that makes a sure fire night so good.
Here people leave gradually throughout the night, and then in a rush after 2am when the drink stops being served. It makes for a lack of highpoint, and probably a desperate urge to seek out the after parties and loft shows that take place around the city at those hours. Jokers of the Scene played too last night, and their twitchy Acid House with bossa nova vocals over the top was a real live treat.
As you can see below, I took the opportunity to take my crappy digital out, stand next to a huge thumping speaker and twirl it all upside down for artistic effect. Fucking cinematic genius me. Enjoy the tracks too.
- SSH Special Edition: Suburban Superheroes go to the Nightmare Before Xmas
- Rise of The Mustachios.
- Real Scenes.
- Dublin Slowly Becomes A Ghetto