I’d never seen Crystal Stilts before, so I was pretty excited when my Thursday plans fell through, freeing me up to make my way on down to Cake Shop to check them out. It was the last day of April, which at Cake Shop means that anyone with an April birthday gets free admission, two free drinks, and a slice of cake. A pretty sweet deal, if you ask me. I can’t wait until August 31st (my birthday month). Anyways, the birthday party feel definitely carried over into Crystal Stilts’ set. They had so many friends in the audience that I actually felt like a bit of an outsider watching from the crowd. Everyone seemed to know the band, so it was no surprise that by the end of the set the show turned into one big friend-group mosh pit thinger. Attempts were made to crowd-surf the guitar player, but low ceilings make crowd-surfing a dangerous past-time. I was actually disappointed in the set. The sound mix was all off, though this was largely because a good portion of the crowd was standing in front of the monitors. Still, this proved to me that Crystal Stilts’ brand of lo-fi garage rock isn’t exactly as lo-fi as one might like to believe. It’s complex and intricate, and requires an excellent sound job in the live setting. I’d like to see them again somewhere else.
As poor as the mix was for Crystal Stils, it was perfect for my personal surprise of the night, Prince Rupert’s Drops. I’d never even heard a whisper about this band before, but I was fairly blown away by their set. They use tried-and-true (but excellent) guitar riffs to build upon each other making twisting, turning rock compositions that were a joy to hear. Lead guitarist, Bruno Meyrick-Jones plays the guitar exactly how he looks: small, compact, slightly strange, and strong. His command of the instrument was just really fun to watch, and his style combines perfectly with second guitarist Leslie Stein’s style of play, as well as her hypnotizing vocals. A tight band with some very nice songs, I’ll definitely keep an eye on these guys. Beachniks also played a very short set.
Prince Rupert’s Drops: