Screaming Into The Abyss

Crystal Method at Epic, Minneapolis
By Ben Zvan
On December 22, 2008 at 12:51

KirklandOn Friday, December 19, The Crystal Method were joined by Jack Trash, Nathan Vox and Leon J for a night of live DJ'd music at Epic nightclub in Minneapolis presented by Sound In Motion.

My first impression of the club was disorganization. The front door was unlocked and nobody was there to keep people from wandering in until they got up by the box office, some of the employees showing up before the doors officially opened were unaware of this and weren't sure how to get in. This is a big contrast to a venue like First Avenue where they lock the doors and have someone right inside to let the staff through.

Fly GirlAfter a short wait in Minnesota weather, we walked in and started wandering the club looking for spots to shoot from. I have to say that, from a photographer's point of view, this isn't the best club to be at. Especially without stage access and especially for their DJ set configuration. The DJs were blocked by a box in front of the decks and two speakers on either side of them. The best view in the house was from a private box, which had a darned good view, but blocked the stage for the rest of us. Luckily, I'm used to odd locations and worked quickly to find the best spots to hang. And it took security a couple hours to figure out I'd been standing on couches and ask me to get off. A camera can only get you so far.

Crowd at Crystal MethodMy second impression of the club was that I had completely forgotten what the nightclub scene was like. It's probably been since I was 21 that I went to one of the local meet-markets. There was more prime flesh on display than I had seen in a long time and by the end of the night, all of it was thoroughly marinated. At least one guy reminded me of getting drunk in GTA IV. Clearly his whole world was spinning out of control.

The first set was Leon J who, and I'm going to show my ignorance here, I presume is a local DJ along with Jack Trash and Nathan Vox. He had a great stage presence and really opened up the crowd as they came in. The transitions through the other DJs and into The Crystal Method were seamless enough that I didn't even notice when Kirkland started spinning except that the energy in the place started to increase rapidly and the beats became more familiar to me. Those two are probably not entirely related since I talked to some folks in line who were there to see Jack Trash.

Kirkland and JordanJordan and Kirkland served up dance tracks until 2:00, slipping in samples and beats from their albums that made the crowd go crazy when they realized their alcohol addled brains were taking in something familiar. Scott Kirkland is clearly the more outgoing of the duo. When Ken Jordan was spinning, Kirkland was often standing up on the podium and playing with the crowd, singing with the samples and taking pictures of and for the audience. When the Go-go dancers were in that spot, Kirland would dance behind them or play with Jordan's head, basically keeping the stage energy high and connecting with the crowd.

It looks like the last time The Crystal Method was in Minneapolis was 2006. I'm hoping they don't wait another two years to come back, and I'll certainly be keeping my eyes open for more.

-- More Photos -- Crowd Photos

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