Unknown Pleasures Tent, Friday

With the crowd eager to spend their first night of Connect living it up in true ‘Boutique’ style, we figure there can be only one place for a sonic adventure, and that’s where Toronto-based brain-manglers Crystal Castles come in.

A near blacked-out tent becomes flooded to full capacity, and as the duo spark up their set, a wall of strobe-lighting erupts and Alice and Ethan soon set about alighting the musical rulebook. The duo whip up a ferocious assault of 8-bit bleeps and contorted punk squeals. Alice, holding centre stage chiefly by darting between speaker stands, skipping the stage and occasionally over the crowds heads, is as inward as a frontwoman prone to stagediving can be, hiding behind a sea of strobes that could shutdown the cranium of an elephant.

‘Alice Practice’ and ‘Untrust Us’ sound huge, like a Sega Master System being kicked down the stairs at Trash, although it does demonstrate the band’s live setting to be far more effective than their albums.

It’s a short set, designed to shock the senses and leave you feeling like a ‘Nam veteran by the end. ‘Scenester in-joke!’ you may squeal, but tonight there’s nothing left but grinning faces and the casualties of a few unknowing epileptics. Ace, in other words.
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