If you can count on alt-dance-cum-Spanish-folk band Crystal Fighters for one thing, it’s that there will never be a dull moment when they’re on stage. Two records down and the British six-piece have made a name for energetic, group-hug inducing live shows, a reputation that has been upheld well over their Australian tour.
This was the band’s final stop on their Aus tour and a snug crowd gathered in the Hi-Fi to farewell them. For a first time attendee of a Crystal Fighters show, the initial reaction evoked a myriad of confusing images.
The head-to-toe sequined attire made it seem as if we’d stumbled into a questionable bar on the set of Aladdin. At other times, the excessive use of the smoke machine, pink and blue lights and raucous guitar solo’s painted a mirage of Spinal Tap circa 1980s.
As bizarre as this all was, there was one thing tying it all together: good vibes. Lead vocalist Sebastian Pringle emerged from a gold-sequined cloth to acts as the crowd’s preacher for the night.
He pulled out all the stops to make sure everybody was feeling the love, using everything from hand shaped love hearts to lines like “Sydney, do you want love?” The latter question received a vibrant, “Yes!”
For a band with two albums, they played an impressively lengthy set, proving their songs are much better suited to a live setting. It seemed every genre of music was catered for. They moved from the Brit arena pop of Bridge of Bones to a drum n bass break for a heavier-than-usual In The Summer. Just when it seemed all angles were exhausted, they fit in an impressive, tempo-raising drum solo.
However it was the acid-folk tinged tunes of their second album, Cave Rave, that delivered the nights most moveable moments. LA Calling served up the audible summer vibes the crowd was craving and encore, Wave brought a sea of hands with its sprawling, anthemic chorus.
The full-bodied, electronic moments came courtesy of their debut, Star of Love. I Love London was as obnoxious and loud as it should be, which was juxtaposed aptly by the sweetness of the tribal-flavoured At Home, led by on-point harmonies by vocalists Mimi and Laure.
As the night came to a close on the rapturous Xtactic Truth, a sea of crowd surfers and punters hoisted on shoulders suggested that Crystal Fighters had done their job, creating a loved-up room of organised chaos. They’re a little bit silly, but maybe that’s their charm. The show was full of good intentions and when you’re capable of stirring a crowd into the anarchy witnessed at the Hi-Fi, you’re doing something very right.
Photos: Crystal Fighters – The Hi-Fi, Sydney 09/01/14
Photos: Ashley Mar