We Were There – Concert Review: Crystal Fighters at The House of Blues Orlando
From the moment “Wave”, the opening track from 2013’s Cave Rave, swims within earshot, it’s readily apparent that Crystal Fighters aren’t the same band that made the manic, electronica heavy 2010 record, Star of Love. However, as evidenced by their performance last night at The House of Blues in Orlando as the opening act on the Portugal. The Man fall tour, the British/Spanish electro-folk quintet hasn’t lost an ounce of its former frenzied vigor.
Truth be told, they seem revitalized over these past few months now that they’ve expanded their musical palette; they even literally embraced the title of their latest album by throwing a concert party inside of an actual cave just outside the coastal city of San Sebastian, Spain.
The most outward and immediate expression of this enthusiasm appears in the stage setup and the band’s outfits. It looked like a combination of an alien obsessed, futuristic cult crossed with a flower child hippie commune. Lead singer Sebastian Pringle stood out both for his sparkling ensemble and boundless energy. Looking charmingly bedazzled alongside Pringle was vocalist Nila Raja. Offsetting them both was guitarist Graham Dickson who apparently hates shirts judging from not only this show, but also past concert photos.
Just as inherently juxtaposed was the Crystal Fighters setlist that alternated back and forth between the first and second LPs as speedily as they played their instruments. Their energy didn’t seem to be due to any nerves or anything as common as that; Pringle and company appear to always be this amped up naturally, perhaps from the simple joy of being on stage.
The best crowd response of the evening came during, “You & I,” their catchy, pulsating hit single. For the finale, they closed the show with a loud, bombastic, warehouse worthy EDM banger during which they brought out two members of Portugal. The Man for some additional auditory muscle. The moment was fun for everyone, but not completely necessary. Crystal Fighters were doing more than fine in their role of rabid party starters. Here’s hoping they’ll be back soon so we can shimmer and shimmy all over again.
*Crystal Fighters and Portugal. The Man will be at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale tonight. Doors at 6, show at 7. Tickets at the door or here.