SHOW REVIEW: The Crystal Method
March 7, 1998--La Luna (Portland, Oregon)
We arrived at LaLuna around 8pm (which was when the show was supposed to begin) and found an extremely large line wrapping it's way around the building. While standing in line, I couldn't help but think that I must have been one of the oldest ones there. The crowd seemed so young, and my suspicions were confirmed when we finally made it inside the club and the bar areas were almost empty. Granted, not everyone had made it in yet, but it was really strange to walk in and find a table at the bar. If I had been feeling old in line, that quickly changed when the bouncer at the bar refused to let me in without TWO pieces of ID. Remembering LaLuna's strict "no re-entry" policy - I started to get a bit concerned about spending the entire night "beer free". He refused to let me in with my Washington license. I explained the situation to the bouncers at the door, and they allowed me to return to my car for a second piece of ID.
As everyone arrived, DJ Carlos was doing the dance mix. I felt the mix seemed to go on forever, and that some of the bass lines seemed to be a bit distorted. Perhaps it was where we were standing; because when we moved to another part of LaLuna, I didn't notice the distortion as much. Then "BT" took the stage, a techno band consisting of a keyboarder and a drummer. After some starting technical difficulties, they finally got things moving and I thought they sounded great. I liked watching the drummer, watching him play when the strobe-lights were on him. He also used chimes and bongo-drums, which I thought was kinda' cool. They had a great light show.
The anticipation for The Crystal Method kept building and building.... and, well, finally after FOUR hours, they took the stage a little after midnight. By then I was more than ready for them and getting pretty tired of the DJ dance mix. The crowd went crazy. LaLuna was sold out and packed, and the atmosphere was smoky, crowded and dark. People were dancing, and glow-sticks were everywhere, it was perfect.
If you are not familiar with The Crystal Method, you have probably heard some of their tracks without even knowing it. They have done film soundtracks for such movies as "Spawn" (where they teamed up with Filter); and "The Replacement Killers", but more recently the soundtrack for the new Mazda Miata commercial (...this transmission is coming to you...). They are getting a lot of attention with the release of their CD "Vegas" which I feel is an excellent electronica/techno CD and well worth checking out. My favorite recent appearance was one they did for MTV's "Fashionably Loud", a great showcase for that type of music. The Method Men are Ken Jordon and Scott Kirkland.
Anyway, I didn't seem to mind the 4 hour wait when they finally came on-stage and did some tracks off "Vegas"; such as "High Roller", "Trip Like I Do", and "Busy Child". You never knew where one left off and the next began, which kept the crowd dancing the entire time. We made our way towards the stage to get a closer look. One of the things I have heard about The Method is how they actually put on a "show" for the fans, rather than hide behind their equipment. They were set up right at the edge of the stage and you could see the intensity they feel for their music. I can only imagine the technology that must go into setting up a show like that. I found it all pretty fascinating.
After Crystal Method left the stage, we kept hoping they would return for an encore; but no such luck. DJ Carlos began the dance mix again, yet the house lights stayed off. We waited until we saw them start to un-assemble some of the equipment before we finally decided to call it a night.
The crowd may have been very young (in fact the balcony became all ages before the show started and we were kindly asked to take our beer elsewhere), but it was an incredible experience and I'm glad I was a part of it all. I went dragging home around 3am, with tired feet and a rather noticeable ringing in my ears, but I can't wait to put on my "Vegas" CD and re-live it all over again!