A Dance Party with Crystal FightersJune 20th, 2013
Crystal Fighters/Alpine – Webster Hall – June 19, 2013
Webster Hall filled up quickly last night, taking on the air of a raucous summer beach rave party for the Spaniards of Crystal Fighters and the Aussies of Alpine. The venue buzzed with anticipation as Alpine played a crisp opening set with lilting harmonies and some excellent dance moves from singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James. “We’ve coming a long fucking way to be in this incredible city. We’re swearing about it!” cooed Baker as they danced around excitedly between songs and readied the crowd for the headliners’ set.
If Crystal Fighters played a concert every night, there might be peace and happiness across the globe. Seeing them perform live is even more immersive and exhilarating than hearing their newest album, Cave Rave. And that’s what the show felt like: a sort of caveman’s rave party. The set was lengthy, about an hour and a half, and the band only became more animated as they progressed through a series of newer and older songs. Known for eclectic instrumentation and superior live-performance skills, Crystal Fighters clearly felt at home in front of the packed venue. With lead singer Sebastian Pringle wearing a sparkly shirt and his bandmates grinning from ear to ear, they opened with “Solar System,” followed by “Champion Sound,” “LA Calling” and a supremely animated version of “Separator.”
Tribal beats filled the air for an extended version of “I Do This Everyday” as the vibe in
the room turned rave-y. We were transported to the beach as Crystal Fighters performed “You & I” and “Love Is All I Got.” “This is a fine place to come and play our music,”
said Pringle with a devilish grin between tunes. “We are riding this wave together in the present moment,” he added as they went into “Wave.” “Swallow” came next, and then “Everywhere” and “Plage.” “In The Summer” followed with blazing lights and even more floor shaking. The band rounded out their set with “At Home,” before returning to uproarious applause to finish with “I Love London” and “Xtatic Truth.” With their storytelling and distinctive multi-instrumental arrangements, Crystal Fighters’ music would lend itself well to a rock opera. But for now, they’ll give every venue they visit a phenomenal summertime dance party. —Schuyler Rooth