On Monday night New York indie rock band Crystal Stilts performed a free 45 minute set at Other Music in NYC. It was an event that allowed the band to perform new songs off their latest release Nature Noir that's in stores now. Out of the eight songs the band played, six were off the new album and two were from previous albums. It was a very crowded event and the fans were excited to see the band in such an intimate space. Crystal Stilts were formed in New York in 2003 by Brad Hargett and JB Townsend. The remaining members are Kyle Forester on keyboards, Andy Adler on bass, and Keegan Cooke on drums.
I had gotten online early so I could get a great spot and view of the performance. After everybody had been let in, the band took to their instruments and began to play. The stores lights were off and there was a projection screen situated behind the band that displayed odd shapes and figures with various colors being illuminated from projection lights. It made for a pretty cool atmosphere and I felt meshed together nicely with the band's music.
The first instrument I noticed was the guitar JB was using. It appeared to look like the same model that former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones used to use, a Vox Mark III (more widely known as a Vox Teardrop). While I couldn't see exactly what pedals he was using it sounded like he favored the digital delay one the most.
Here's crowd sourced video of Crystal Stilts playing "Future Folklore" during their in-store performance at Other Music in New York City:
The opening song "Spirits In Front Of Me" had a nice steady groove to it. "Sticks And Stones" picked up the pace and got a few people in attendance bopping their heads. We were brought back to another relaxed groove with the song "Graveyard Orbit." When the song was over a person from the crowd yelled out, "Turn up the vocals!" I didn't feel that they needed to be turned up due to the size of the room, but it was a bit difficult to make out the lyrics. This in no way affected my enjoyment of the show though. The next song, "Star Crawl", had a hypnotic rhythm to it which led them going into their next song that I felt was their most impressive. "Darken The Door" started off with a lot of energy and was backed with Keegan's drumbeat that was reminiscent of surf rock. Halfway through, the song slowed down and had a spooky quality to it as Kyle produced some very interesting sounds on his keyboard. I couldn't help but be reminded of late 1960's Pink Floyd as I listened.
The set ended with the band performing two more new songs from the new album that were driven by Andy's bass and JB's guitar sound. After about a minute of feedback the store lights came back on and many in attendance were left wanting more. The band was nice enough to stick around and talk to a few fellow fans. While it was not a full-on production of a show, I was very glad I had chosen to go and now I'm left curious as to what a stage show would look/sound like. I have a feeling I would get my mind partially melted.
The new album Nature Noir was released today and they will be going on tour in support of the album beginning Wednesday, September 18th at a sold out Webster Hall. If you would like to purchase the new album you can do so by clicking here.
For the latest music, news, and tour dates from Crystal Stilts, check out their Zumic artist page.