I first saw Trust play for a sweaty and intense crowd in 2011 when they opened for fellow electronic-duo, Crystal Castles, whom they’re often compared to. I may not have been completely taken by their songs at the time (other than the memorable single “Candy Walls”), but front-man Robert Alfons’ stage presence was more than intriguing. His shaky, sexy, and seemingly drugged-out performance style (complete with eyes constantly rolling to the back of his head) is immediately arresting, and his coolness (or perhaps shyness) towards the audience somehow only draws listeners in more.
After opening for Crystal Castles and Sleigh Bells in the past years, it only makes sense that Trust continues this chain of noisy duos by recruiting Brooklyn electro-act, Light Asylum, to support them on this tour. But before they took the stage an even noisier band had their go.
Photos of Dentata by Dustin Cordeiro
Gothic-psychobilly act, Dentata, played a set of raunchy, guitar-heavy songs with titles like “Satan’s Baby” and “Whiskey” that clearly incorporated many of the clichés of their genre. (They must have been really happy it was Friday the 13th). The lead-singer nearly bared all in a blue cage-like bodysuit as she screeched and wailed into a mic-stand covered in choppy-haired Barbie dolls, while her fellow band-mate wore a silver jumper that brought to mind Cherie Currie of The Runaways. Despite their deliberately jarring performance, they kept their songs tight enough to fare well with the audience. And after some quick research on the band, I realized this show was rather conservative for them, considering they usually end their sets covered in (hopefully fake) blood.
Photos of Light Asylum by Dustin Cordeiro
Shortly after 11, Light Asylum began their set with “Dark Allies”, an intense 6-minute track from their 2010 In Tension EP. Shannon Funchess’ deep, androgynous voice came to a powerful rock-snarl on songs like “Pope Will Roll” and the anthemic “IPC” which ended strongly as Funchess sang “We are freedom fighters. Fuck ‘em!” with her arms crossed above her head. Funchess’ movements were so uninhibited and free that there was no question she was having fun, and the crowd certainly responded to her commanding energy. Her liveliness seemed endless as she beat the drum machine into the closing song of their set, the mellower track, “A Certain Person”. Funchess’ voice soared as she sang the strong yet simple hook “Do you know him?” and continued to pound away. As Shannon Funchess let out heavy straining wails, her powerhouse energy never lost hold, and in-turn, neither did Light Asylum’s songs.
But Friday night’s “sweatfest” (as one Twitter-user called it) really began when Trust started their set at around half past midnight. Opening with “Shoom”, the first track off their debut, was a perfect way to kick things off as the song’s menacing hook had the crowd singing along to every growl Alfons let out. The incredibly responsive crowd was a surprise to me, for a band that had been winning over fans as an opener just over a year ago. The audience immediately recognized the kick-drum intro to “Chrissy E” as they cheered and awaited Alfons’ rare falsetto during the song’s chorus. And their slow-building single “Candy Walls” had fans chanting the song’s bridge, “Her streak survives in the night”, before Alfons even began singing it. Trust closed their set with the ominous track “Heaven” which saw Alfons stoutly gripping the mic-stand in his signature pose during the song’s intense chorus. They saved two of their best tracks for the encore when they played the epic “Gloryhole” and new single “Sulk” with an extended outro.
As Alfons took a moment to sit near the end of the stage turned away from the audience, fans pushed and shoved to get a touch of the sweat-drenched singer. With Alfons’ apparent shyness and lack of any banter other than a timid “Thank you” before leaving; it’s unclear whether he relishes the status and fan base he seems to be gaining quite quickly. But either way, Trust seem to be on the rise, and I’m just glad I caught them when I did.
- Trust’s usual drummer, Maya Potepski, was absent for this show, perhaps due to commitments with her band Austra. Whatever the reason, we’re hoping Maya and her white-rimmed glasses will make a return soon (and not just because there’s something so swoon-worthy about a girl drummer).
- According to a tweet from Alfons, heavy metal band Iron Maiden made their way back-stage before the show hoping to reunite with their old pals from the 80s French heavy metal band also known as Trust. I guess there are more problems to having a common band name than just a very messy Last.fm page.