The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Crystal Castles stir up the Congress Theater

Clad in a cut-off tee, faded turquoise hair, combat boots and clutching a bottle of Jack Daniels, Alice Glass of Canadian electronic duo Crystal Castles, let out her signature baleful yowl and plunged directly into the reaching hands of the crowd below. Jack still in hand.

The electro-dystopian-rave troupe descended upon the Congress Theatre Nov. 2, the second to last stop stateside of their tour to promote their new album released Nov. 12.  Glass and producer Ethan Kath set the stage with a thick cloud of fog and the foreboding warbling synth riffs off one of their new singles, “Plague.” Glass launched right into the screeching chorus, and opted out of the more subdued verses. This abrupt, violent beginning set the tone for the rest of the show — light on the calmer, heavy on the angst-ridden, rebellious electronic group that has Crystal Castles has morphed into.

Without pause, Kath and Glass continued from one song to the next, jarring synthesizer pop to the next swoosh of white noise and strobe lights. Their set was a mix of their older, more popular songs, including “Untrust Us,” “Crimewave,” and a dubstep-remix of “Vanished,” which seemed to play to the general audience member that night. Their live show was more indicative of an MDMA-laced rave than their recordings, which typically are more somber, as with another new single, “Wrath of God.” In the whooshing waves of Glass’s distorted vocals, the haunting lyrics elicit feelings of helplessness and loss, two emotions you cannot find at a live Crystal Castles show.

Their third album, aptly titled “(iii)” is expected to be much heavier and far darker than their previous releases. In interviews for various music news outlets, Kath and Glass have both voiced that their views on society have greatly influenced their method of making music, and that overall the effect is pretty gloomy. Although only three singles off their new album have been released, this theme of oppression and doom is nearly tangible.

What sets Crystal Castles apart from so many of the other electronic groups popular today is exactly that. Even though all the music is electronically produced, Kath and Glass have been able to craft a synthetic sound that is both loaded emotionally and entirely unique.

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