With Minneapolis’s popular Basilica Block Party going on last weekend, St. Paul was definitely not the place to be for music fans. Correspondingly, attendance at Capital City venues suffered—most notably at the Turf Club, where two very high-quality touring acts performed to a sparse crowd on Saturday night. The acts in question, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Cryptacize, both still managed to put on admirable shows despite the lack of crowd energy.
Though both of the acts hail from the Bay area in California, Casiotone and Cryptacize have very different sounds. First on the bill, Cryptacize is a four-piece outfit led by waifish vocalist Nedelle Torrisi (as well as band co-founder, guitarist Chris Cohen). Their dreamy, psychedelic approach to rock music is highlighted by Torrisi’s childlike warbling and Cohen’s surfy guitar riffs. Though Torrisi looked a bit awkward prancing about in front of the club’s largely deserted dance floor, one had to applaud her ability to create a high-energy show without a crowd’s help. Cryptacize mostly drew on material from their fantastic new album Mythomania to fill out their set, with singles like “Tail and Mane” and “Blue Tears” highlighting the performance.
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone’s Owen Ashworth headlined the set, his one-man performance highlighting the solitary aspect of his band name though you could hardly call him alone onstage—he shares it with a small mountain of keyboards and electrical equipment. Almost entirely immobile, Ashworth spent most of the show behind his wall of electronics, singing frank and heartfelt lyrics over his looped Casio beats. Ashworth also has a terrific album out this year, Vs. Children, and he too largely relied on his newer material. As substantial as Ashworth’s poignant lyricism was, as his set stretched into the wee hours of the night the club’s energy never rose beyond minimal. Slow-paced music, a vacant club, and the late hour all combined to unfairly kill the concert before it even found a rhythm.
It would seem that unlucky circumstances were a bane to both Casiotone and Cryptacize’s St. Paul visit. To their credit, though, both rose to the occasion. Hopefully next time around it will be under more favorable conditions.
Jon Behm (email@example.com) is a Minneapolis-based photographer and writer. While his specialty is music, Jon has a wide variety of interests that tend to take him all over the Twin Cities on a daily basis.
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