Download: "Alice Practice" from their self-titled album
Video games were certainly the underlying theme of the night, as Crystal Castles and Sparrow Love Crew laser blasted the roof off of Costa Mesa's Detroit Bar. For one, Crystal Castles named their band after She-Ra's home from the He-Man series, and the amount of game sound samples incorporated into their music was simply too much to ignore.
Long Beach locals, Sparrow Love Crew, opened the night. The band is poised to burst out of the local scene with their electro-fused old-school rap jams and began their set with tunes from their debut EP Burgertime. It's difficult not to imagine the classic arcade game "Burgertime" when you hear the title but the Crew's album is so tasty that the coincidence barely matters. They closed out their set with a barnstorming rendition of "Feel This" replete with whirling synthesizers and rapid-fire raps.
When headliner Crystal Castles emerged onto the stage it was clear they are one tough band. After narrowly surviving a car crash that prematurely ended their tour because Alice Glass (Vocals) suffered two cracked ribs, the accident was far from their minds thanks to the utter chaos they brought to the stage. The band could have used some security as forty people shoved their way onto the elevated platform during the first song. The lights in the club were non-existent as the pulsating 8-bit synthesizer bass lines sizzled your brain. Alice's microphone was cutting out so it was difficult to ascertain what song they were playing since live versions are mixed differently. Ethan Fawn (Keyboards) was in his hoody tweaking his Korg MS-2000 synthesizer as Alice was mobbed by the crowd. Detroit Bar Security would later restore order but much of their set time had been consumed. The groans from the crowd were audible as "Alice Practice", the last song of their barely thirty minute set, was played. I guess Crystal Castles subscribe to the theory of leaving an audience wanting more.
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Personal Bias: Any band that incorporates samples from the Donkey Kong video game garners my admiration.
Random Detail: DJ Opi Styles of the Sparrow Love Crew had a Theremin connected to his turntables for some out of this world scratching sounds.
By The Way: It was so hot in the Detroit Bar that I will not be needing a sauna anytime soon.