[This is the second half of the 2-part concert review for Crystal Castles and HEALTH. See Sanita’s post for the first part!]
Alison’s Review | Crystal Castles, HEALTH, Battery Collection | The Grog Shop, 3/20/08
The Grog Shop is the Cleveland venue I love to go to when I’m in town. I’ve seen many amazing acts there–Aloha, Beep Beep, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, Karl Blau, etc, etc. When I found out HEALTH would be playing with Crystal Castles, I was thrilled. I am a huge fan of HEALTH’s album, and seeing it performed live is downright nuts. There was a lot of buzz in Cleveland surrounding this show, so I was quite anxious to attend. Sanita told me the show in Dekalb was a hot mess, and I just don’t like getting down like that, so I considered skipping the show to see Parts & Labor and Pterodactyl at MOCA instead. However, I toughed it out and drove in the blizzard to the east-side of Cleveland to see my HEALTH dudes.
Let it be known, I like to dance. I’m pretty much up there with Liza Minelli, if I do say so myself. When I arrived, a shitty DJ was spinning crowd-pleasing hits from Bloc Party, the Postal Service, and Justice (which I thought was weird, a DJ playing another DJ’s work?). I just wanted to know, where was the Prince? Tupac? R. Kelly? I didn’t know if he was one of the openers or just some dude the Grog hired to get the kids buck wild. Either way, his transitions were terrible, but the bass was bumpin’ and that’s what kids like. The crowd was a mix of Warped Tour kiddies/ravers and Cleveland hipsters, and it seemed like the age range was rather at polar opposites. The 16 year olds were ready to mosh at any given time, however the older, calmer attendees just wanted to chill and watch.
Battery Collection took the stage, and I was thankful that the kiddies had settled down. The one-man act utilized synths, drums, pedals, samplers and glockenspiels to create intelligent, ambient Electronica. I very much enjoyed his set, however I overheard some teenagers in too much eyeliner saying it put them to sleep. And to that, I say pish posh.
After Battery Collection, it was HEALTH’s turn. Their set-up time was relatively short, which was good considering how crazy the crowd was getting. DJ man was still spinning the beats, pulling out every party’s not-so-secret weapon: the always great Daft Punk. This is when the kids really started to go apeshit. There were ample amounts of glowsticks, and I was personally accosted by a tiny, creepy girl with a glowing mouth who told me to dance with her. I politely declined and continued to get trampled/wait for HEALTH.
HEALTH’s set was a raucous blend of frantic guitars, powerful drums, and sparse-but-spastic lyrics. They played all of my favorites, including “Triceratops”, “Crimewave”, and “Courtship”. I was not disappointed, and I do believe I heard a few new tracks. The audience didn’t seem to get it. There are a lot of intense, dramatic pauses in HEALTH songs, and people were clapping in between them. Either way, they were as energetic as always and got the kids pumped for the main event.
Due to the combination of overly-aggressive, suburban white kids thinking it’s still cool to mosh at every show despite musical genre, the venue’s intense heat situation, and the continuous blizzard accumulating outside, my friend and I decided to leave after HEALTH’s set. Yes, I missed Crystal Castles. But I hate having to watch out for my life rather than being able to watch a band perform. Maybe I’m getting too old for this shit? I’m 19, so that must not be it. I think Cleveland kids really just suck, for the most part. Excuse me, I didn’t know I bought a ticket to Ozzfest on accident.