Crystal Stilts The Garrison, Toronto ON, June 20

Crystal Stilts The Garrison, Toronto ON, June 20
Photo: Stephen McGill
5
Three records into their career, Brooklyn's innovative post-punk band Crystal Stilts should have long ago hit their stride as a live act. Their albums have been fairly consistently excellent, and they have developed enough variations on the standard psych-rock sound they operate within to be able to bring something fresh to the show. Instead, their set felt overcome by the sense of having been there, seen that, done this all before that I've rarely felt when listening to their albums. Blending the moody shades of Interpol and Joy Division with Brad Hargett's affectless vocals, the set was flat and passionless. Where were the songs? The packed room seemed to agree — rarely has a midnight set by a much-hyped band seen so much indifferent standing around. Or, as a friend put it to me by the fourth song, "If I wanted to see the Doors play Interpol songs like the National… I would not have wanted to hear that, actually."