Crystal Fighters Turn The El Rey Into A Dance Floor

It was virtually a year ago when I saw Crystal Fighters for the first time at The Echoplexand on Tuesday night at the El Rey, the six-piece performed an exuberant set just like the one that made me fall in love with them last summer. Having garnered a larger following than they had last June, the electro/folk-rockers played their popularity to their advantage by hyping up the audience with a nearly 10-minute long intro that began with guitarist Graham Dickson strutting and wailing in the middle of the stage and ended with Sebastian Pringle, jumping and motioning for the audience to scream as he ran to his spot behind the microphone after the rest of the band made its grand entrance. His hair was up in his signature top bun, but he traded his nomadic hippie garb for something much more unusual – a black skirt over black pants and a sequined sweater that would make Liza Minnelli proud. He topped off the outfit with a pair of oversized sunglasses. Very L.A. chic, if you ask me.

Once the buildup hit its climax, the UK-via-Spain outfit blasted into “Solar System,” the opening track off its 2010 (2012 in the U.S.) debut, Star Of Love. During a nearly 90 minute set, the band played every track off its first album, interspersing tunes off Cave Rave throughout. “The present is all that matters,” Pringle admitted between songs. “Forget about the past, don’t think about the future. It’s just You and I.” The audience screamed as the band delved into “You & I,” the first single off its recently released record.

Though the El Rey is a bit larger than the Echoplex, Crystal Fighters engaged with their audience as if they were playing the most intimate of venues. Pringle raised his hands up and urged the crowd to clap along during songs; Dickson often parked himself on the edge of the stage, shredding his guitar strings above a sea of screaming adorers, and vocalist Mimi Borelli danced and shook as she sang, bending down low to grasp the hands of her fans. The crowd fed off the band’s energy, and by the end of the night both the musicians and attendees alike were dripping with sweat, marking another successful Crystal Fighters performance.

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Photo Credit: Katrina Nattress