"There is no god. There is no heaven. There is fucking nothing."

Alice Glass easing us into tonight's show, then...

This speech, a rare one from the Crystal Castles front woman, who is known to hide behind walls of electronic noise as a crazed anonymous figure with a lack of human nature, came as a tribute to Connor, a prominent fan of the band, who died aged 18 the night before the show, and candles and flowers adorned the back of the stage.


Right from the outset the sold out London crowd erupted, with teenagers picking themselves and others up from crowd crushes amidst the frenzy with wild smiles on their faces; like there is nothing as exciting in live music as seeing this band. They're not far off, you know.

After the opening pair of 'Plague' and 'Baptism', a security guard frantically ran onto the stage and shouted into Glass' ear that the show would be cut off if the crowd didn't calm down. She relayed the message, then adding: "but you don't have to listen to what I say…"


Tracks from their latest album III were intelligently interspersed throughout the set, and gave a different dimension to the performance, with more clarity apparent in the lyrics of newer tracks such as 'Affection'. It was a nice contrast to the unhinged excitement and absolute chaos of 'Doe Deer' and 'Celestica', and Crystal Castles seem to have grown into more than simply an aesthetically pleasing band who scream their way through live shows and sell t-shirts with sad faces and beaten up Madonnas on them. On their third album now, the band are starting to make (a tiny tiny bit) more sense.

Amongst the swathes of visceral excitement that come with every Crystal Castles show, there was a painfully human touch tonight, with Alice visibly distressed for large amounts of the performance due to the death of the fan, and when not writhing around in the grip of the front 10 rows of the crowd, she waved a lighter in the air to remember him.


5,000 teenagers on drugs had an amazing night at the Brixton Academy, watching one of the most brilliant live bands in the world continue on their biggest UK headline tour to date; yet tonight meant more to the band than that. The emotion that went into this show was clear to see, and when 'Yes No' ended with Glass hunched over the candles and photo of the fan before shuffling off the stage, something purer was on show than simply this crazy Canadian, and, maybe for the first time, the band showed real emotion - something penetrable which the audience can relate to. The one-dimensional nature of the band disappeared tonight, and maybe only for tonight, which is what made the show so special.

The release of III and this run of live shows is showing the potential for a new Crystal Castles to be thrust upon us, teaming the old absurdity with a new found emotion, and that's a very inviting prospect. Crystal Castles are growing, and it's an absolute pleasure to watch them do so.