Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Crystal Fighters-Live in Madrid (Concert Review)

Music sounds best live, a simple concept that Griff and I not only push on these pages but also are trying to use as the seed to build something even bigger. Live shows are defined by moments, sparks of inspiration by the band, chats with fans, moments that make the crowd go nuts, or touch you in a meaningful way. Crystal Fighters' show last Tuesday in Madrid had all of these and more, making them a must see act while having me convinced that they're on the very brink of blowing up globally.

Crystal Fighters' lead singer Sebastian Pringle entered the venue dressed in a jacket that seemed like it was designed by a kindergarten aged girl: all glitter and flash. Singing the intro "Solar System" with his face covered an even more glittery shawl, he first appeared to be toeing the line between properly lubricated and out of control. Sebastian soon rallied and his combination of strong vocals, funky dance moves, and love of rocking out on the ukulele quickly won my girlfriend and I over.

After his raucous entrance Sebastian and the rest of the band (Gilbert on the piano, Graham on the guitar, Eleanor on backup vocals) both brought energy and fed off of the crowd, both sides playing off of each other to create an almost perfect buzz in the sala. Memorable moments abound: the Txalaparta (the Basque instrument that the band is fond of) falling off the stage and hitting a fan in the head (he was fine); a fan sneaking on stage (twice!), the second time staying and singing along with Graham; the band trying their best Spanglish out...

Their unique brand of music reminded me of a more electronic Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and like Edward and his merry crew, Crystal Fighters are full of good vibes. While sometimes bordering cheesy, their two albums are hitting an incredibly high percentage of hits to filler, and combine that with a killer live shows makes the band one to watch from now on.

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