Concert Coverage: Craft Spells

By: Connor McNeir

Craft Spells @ The Hi-Dive 3.23.15

Craft Spells @ The Hi-Dive 3.23.15

Monday night shows are never ideal, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Craft Spells last week, who’s most recent record, Nausea, was one of my favorites of 2014. Over the summer, I was able to see them perform in Chicago on a very unaccommodating stage with multiple sound issues during their set. It was somewhat of a let down, but ever since I have been meaning to see them again in the proper setting. So, Monday turned out to be the night. 

Craft Spells @ Township Chicago 6.19.14, Photo by Atwood Magazine

Craft Spells @ Township Chicago 6.19.14, Photo by Atwood Magazine

Playing songs primarily off their first record, Idle Labor, the set was very upbeat. Although they didn’t use their classic indie-pop drum pads and synths as recorded, the energy from their catchy pop hits like “After The Moment” and “Party Talk” was still there.  I could tell most of the crowd was there to hear these earlier Craft Spells songs when nearly half of the crowd pulled out their iphone’s to take a Snapchat as they recognized the song. Although this was slightly irritating, everyone was still dancing and thoroughly engaged with the show.

The place settled down temporarily for the slower songs off their latest album, Nausuea, which received a lot of attention last year and landed on multiple end of the year lists. People didn’t seem as into songs like“Komorebi” and “Dwindle”. However, I found these to be their most memorable performances of the night. Their entire set was super clean and put together. Finishing their set with the most notable track off their latest record “Breaking The Angle Against The Tide" was expected, but still exciting never the less. 

Craft Spells @ The Hi-Dive 3.23.15

Craft Spells @ The Hi-Dive 3.23.15

After seeing them perform in Chicago at a lightly attended show, it was great to see The Hi-Dive full of people having a great time. Lead singer, Justin Vallesteros, was extraordinarily grateful, “We have played The Hi-Dive three times now” he said, “Each time the stage and the crowd has gotten larger and larger and we really appreciate it”.  Craft Spells are definitely on the rise, confirming a third album to be released this year. Based on their descriptions of the record in multiple interviews, they most likely will return to the upbeat, synth-pop sounds of Idle Labor and their Gallery LP.