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Bumbershootin’ Day 1: Crystal Castles and !!!

September 12, 2013 by Dave

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Full Crystal Castles photo set available here

Words by AJ Dent

Photos by David Endicott

Crystal Castles

When I was little, my older sisters told me that the move Mario does when he reaches the top of a beanstalk in Heaven and can climb no further is called “the Mario dance.” It involves him rapidly shaking his arms and legs up and down while staying in one place. He should be climbing or falling, but he’s somehow stationary despite his spasms. My siblings and I would act this out ourselves while the current player did it onscreen, then jumped off to go collect coins. This is what it felt like being in the Crystal Castles crowd: Trippy. Sporadic yet rhythmic. Nirvanic.

Alice Glass and Ethan Kath (whose very names are rhyme-licious and fun to say out loud — go ahead, try it) sculpt clouds when they perform together. Surely gypsies in their former lives who hypnotized their way to the top, their entrance alone was entrancing. Wearing mist across their shoulders, they stole my mind in the same fashion that Ursula’s vaporous fingers syringe Ariel’s voice from her throat. They didn’t just close Saturday night at the TuneIn Stage, they shredded it with a thousand lightsabers. I swear I was carried home after Bumbershoot’s first day on a magic carpet, smiling like a deranged cat. And I was sober! Catch their experience live if you get the chance. Everyone should have such ear orgasms.

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Words by AJ Dent

Photos by David Endicott

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When someone looks you in the eye and says a certain act will be one of the most exciting of a three-day weekend, you listen. This is the influence under which I caught !!!, and sure enough, they wound up on my chk-list (sorry, couldn’t resist) of Bumbershoot’s greatest groups. Nic Offer was off-the-wall as ever, shaking his ass, staring down, and sing-screaming at each one of us. The high of 2012’s Thr!!!er seemed an updraft beneath the artists, lifting them to laugh-out-loud antics and inspiring delight all over their faces. I’d originally been a bit bummed they weren’t playing at night, but being Sacramento-sprung, they jived with the daylight like lifelong lovers. If you ever attend one of their shows and don’t dance, you have no soul. It’s that simple. For the rest of us, may this defibrillator of a band live forever.

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