Where: House of Blues
When: October 6, 2012
No one goes to a HEALTH/Crystal Castles concert expecting keen musicianship and tender harmonies—the only demand made for such a tremendous lineup is that they make noise so immense it could melt paint off walls. And that’s exactly what happened at the House of Blues this past Saturday. Both bands undeniably dominated the venue—but not without a little help from a very talented lo-fi counterpart. electronic’s golden-child Pictureplane was up first, and while his set was a bit on the shorter side (it was an all-ages show after all), it was acutely galvanizing. Amidst the blustery boom, Pictureplane—whose real name is Travis Egedy—delivered aching and exhilarating melodies with notable ease. Ending his set with “Post Physical,” it was clear that he was delighted with just being on the bill.
When HEALTH (pictured) pummeled the stage, the mood shifted from refreshingly atmospheric to complete and utter wild-boy thrash. It was evident they were having a field day as they started their set with the explosive “Zoothorns” then glided into “Crimewave.” Live, their energy is enviable. When experienced, HEALTH display terrifying precision that isn’t always easy to pick up on some of their recorded tracks. Disjointed guitars were employed to dredge out HEALTH’s inner crazed punk provocateur onstage—which was a dramatic way to prepare us for the feral intensity of Crystal Castles.
The Toronto twosome was as brash and bawdy as they come: Ethan Kath is the vehement and steadfast component of the duo—Alice Glass is the unabashed exhibitionist. Donning a purple wig, Glass had no problem celebrating yearning synths and shuddering bass by crowd surfing during songs. “Doe Deer,” “Suffocation,” and “Black Panther,” were among the songs performed, but the real treat was when Glass sang the Robert Smith-graced “Not in Love” with such fidgety confidence you couldn’t help but keep your eyes on her. And with all of the pulsating lights and rapid sonance, that alone speaks volumes.