It was June 1st, 2013 when I saw Crystal Fighters live for the first time. It was in a tiny venue called, The Casbah in San Diego, California and I (pretty much) only knew one song. I had no idea what to expect, so I went into it with an open-mind and came out of it with a blown one. On Tuesday, I saw Crystal Fighters for the fifth time and they just keep getting better. When you see Crystal Fighters perform, it's much more than just a concert. It's a special situation where you're surrounded by people you've never met before but you instantly become friends through a mutual interest...and that's exactly what happens at a Crystal Fighters show. People of all colors, languages, backgrounds - coming together to see the Crystal Fighters light the room up. Tuesday night was a full-blown dance party filled with incredible outfits, unique instruments, and burning sage.
I went into the Bowery Ballroom during the opener's set, an Australian pop-singer by the name of Chela, and the room was already packed. The songstress was dressed in an oversized t-shirt that was adorned with a massive Cancer horoscope sign, with her hair tied up under a baseball hat. It was very obvious that people showed up early to catch her set, and the crowd knew all the lyrics to her songs. You'd hear fans cry out, "I love you, Chela!" and she would respond with a mutual, "I love you, too!" Chela closed out her set with her 2013 hit song, "Romanticise" and people at the downstairs bar ran upstairs in one of those, I know this song!" moments. Chela jumped off stage into the crowd to sing the second half of the song and threw her arms around fans, bellowing every word together. As the song ended, she immediately came down to socialize with fans, take photos and chill by the stage util the Crystal Fighters started.
With all the anticipation building for the Crystal Fighters, it felt like it took hours for the crew to set-up the stage, when realistically it took about 15 minutes. As "Solar System" started playing from their 2010 album, Star of Love
, fog covered the stage. Guitarist, Graham Dickson, was the first to emerge - shirtless and wearing what appeared to be a pirate bandana on his head. As he walked around and hyped the crowd up with little guitar riffs, Gilbert Vierich walked out in a sequined vest with his arms up in the air . Vocalists, Eleanor Fletcher and Clarissa Land, shimmied their way to their mics in white, flowy fits. When frontman Sebastian Pringle appeared on stage, he was dressed head-to-toe in threads from different parts of the world. He was barefoot with ankle bells, burning sage in one hand with a scarf wrapped around his head. The mics were wrapped in a vine of leaves, with a huge Crystal Fighters banner as their backdrop. The set was completely earthy and natural and appropriately backlit with tones of red, yellow, blue, pink, and green.
Their transition from song to song was flawless. After a few songs, Pringle asked the crowd, "New York, how're you feelin' tonight?" and jumped right into the next song, Separator." Nobody took a break from jumping and dancing, even when Pringle was on the mic. One thing we love about Crystal Fighters is how they're all about spreading love and good vibes to everyone. They want to bring everyone together through the power of music and you can't help but forget about the outside world when you're in the same room as them.
At one point in the show, Dickson stopped to introduce their new drummer and pay respect to their former drummer, Andrea Marongiu, who passed away a couple of years ago. Instead of a moment of silence, he conducted a moment of music, where everyone in the room created noise that "travels out of the stratosphere so Andrea can hear it" as Pringle burned the sage again. It was one of the most unifying experiences I've witnessed at a concert. Everyone in that room paid homage to a person who helped Crystal Fighters become who are they are today.
They played "Plage" next to bring the vibes back up as they tossed multiple beach balls into the crowd. The band had a synchronized shuffle to accompany their song and everyone in the crowd waved their arms in the air and jumped along. Crystal Fighters had such an infectious energy through their performance; it's rare to come across such a passionate group who adore each other as much as they do. After the giant sing-a-long of their hit track, "Home" they exited the stage. Fans applauded for a solid ten minutes as they sang the chorus of "Home" acapella style in an attempt to bring Crystal Fighters back out. They rejoined the pleading crowd and rallied with not one more song, but three. They brought out Chela and Psymon Spine (who opened early in the night) to sing "Xtatic Truth" with them from Star of Love. As the night came to a close, there were happy faces all around.
Crystal Fighters are a truly unique group of people. They're all about positivity, love, and music. The worldly sound of their music travels throughout your body and has a way of lifting you up. They produce such an eclectic, world-inspired sound that they gather from a variety of genres combined with the feathery vocals from Fletcher and Land. Crystal Fighters came to the Bowery Ballroom and gave everyone a warm, fuzzy feeling and an escape from reality for a night. It felt like everything was right in the world.
Check Our Session With Them