LIVE REVIEW: Crystal Antlers @ The Echo, LA 3/8/12
San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun were well into their set when I entered The Echo. Not being at all familiar with the band, I was treated to an entertaining set of classic rock inspired tunes. The singer seemed to play off the energy of the crowd, making gestures and striking rock star poses. It was a perfect band to warm up the crowd for Crystal Antlers.
It had been a couple of years since I last saw Crystal Antlers. At the time, they were still a five piece band crammed onto a small stage playing their hearts out to a small, mostly drunken crowd. I was excited to see how much the band had grown since and I particularly wondered how they would do without Cora Fox on the organ.
A feeling of uncertainty flowed through my body when the band came out minus Damien Edwards (percussionist) and proceeded to play as a three-piece. If there was a feeling of doubt, it quickly faded when the band took the stage and started their set with “Summer Solstice.” Crystal Antlers sounded as great as they do on their recordings. This band “puts the psych in psychedelic!” –words courtesy of the interesting man who proudly introduced the band. Very matter of factly, the vibe was resembling the psychedelic era of the ’70s as a projector displayed colorful visuals that perfectly accompanied the music.
The set had brief moments of tranquility, while the majority of it consisted of the band riding an endless jam session that is somehow neatly crafted into passionate songs. Singer Jonny Bell’s body jolted as if his bass was coordinating its actions, and Andrew King is an absolute genius on guitar. Kevin Stuart is so dynamic on drums, always in constant motion changing patterns at the drop of a dime.
A guest player joined Crystal Antlers on the organ for a couple of songs. Jonny Bell even played the organ for the song “Sun Bleached,” alongside Andrew King as he showed off his ability to play guitar. Some members of the crowd danced, others watched intensely, and most did not seem to mind that the majority of the set were new songs. So new in fact, that they’ve yet to be named, according to Bell. That’s the thing with the Crystal Antlers, they suck you in with their live performance, they demand your attention, and then they take you on a time travel of sounds.
Click here for more photos of Crystal Antlers at The Echo.