La Roux, Francis And The Lights and Far East Movement 11/17 Terminal 5 Review

By Sophia Hepheastou

Super excited I couldn’t wait to get to Terminal 5 for the show on November 17th featuring Francis and The Lights and La Roux. I was stoked to find a great spot at Terminal 5, it’s a pretty weird venue, kind big but not too big, kinda small but not really. I had so many thoughts running through my head—would Elly Jackson’s hair be as red as I imagined, would she play my favorite track, and what would Francis and the Lights sound like live? As the lights went down and the last drumset was checked I was ready.

I found a great spot right by the stage watching two guys clad in black formal suits singing amongst a pretty sparse crowd. I was worried I had missed the first act, but lo and behold the set list was swapped—Francis and the Lights were on. The duo opened up with Knees to the Floor, a track with some serious Tetris vibes going on. Lead singer, and apparently the only band member, Francis Farewell Starlite looked deeply into the mic as he sang his hi-pitched falsetto notes. Bandmate, Jonathan Finlayson, skillfully played the 80’s looking piano-board with carefully calculated hands. Both Starlite and Finlayson seemed uncomfortable on stage, not making direct eye contact with audience members. The electronica indie inspired tracks were multidimensional for listeners who were actually trying to give the band some credit. Dim lights made it difficult to really see what was going on stage and every so often red lights would highlight both band members intense dedication to the music. I couldn’t help but think of Phil Collins as Starlite sang and gripped the mic singing but his awkward stage presence was unmoving for fans eagerly waiting to dance. The tempo picked up with Strawberries, which opened with heavy drums and some swaying side to side movements from Starlite. The track ended with an epic guitar solo, some high-pitched notes and a quick jump back to a keyboard part that faded to black. No one really realized that was the end to their set—it was pretty left field.

I didn’t even know what Far East Movement was—and the crowd was getting excited. I was anxious and hoping that the next act would be a little more dance friendly, Far East Movement quickly raised the bar. With flashing lights, intense energy and non-stop movement, the foursome wowed audience members. The guys were dressed to impress in killer sneakers with ties and sunglasses—celebrity status anyone? Snooki, Jersey Shore’s finest, even came out to support the “Like a G6” all-stars. The music was filled with twists and turns making their performance extremely engaging and also a huge relief from Francis and the Lights mellowed and confusing performance. While I was unfamiliar with a bunch of their tracks, it was refreshing to see an act so lively— and even though the words were foreign the overall mash-up effect was great. The group ended on a high-note and set the stage for La Roux.

Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid aka La Roux appeared amidst a green haze—it looked like the emerald city set from The Wizard of Oz. Geometric patterned shapes were used as props and Elly came out clad in a regal green velvet coat—the only thing missing was a giant gold crown. Pixie-like, Elly danced around the stage dropping the heavy kingly coat and revealing a gold-leafed blazer as Michael Jackson’s Thriller narrative played in the background. She began with Tigerlily singing “ And in the crush of the dark I’ll be your light” fans were crazed as she continued with I’m Not Your Toy. With stellar sound quality La Roux continued with Quicksand. Elly avoided crowd interaction and focused more on the music—maybe she was nervous—either way fans were dancing and moving to the ass shaking melodies. Things slowed down with Armour Love and fans mouthed all the words—Elly still awkwardly danced around but no one could tell if it was intentional or her swagger. La Roux then surprised fans with a Rolling Stones cover—Under My Thumb. While a nice attempt, I wasn’t moved. Back on track, she played In for The Kill, opening up to the audience a little more and hitting various high-notes with a perfectly modulating pitch. With endless thank you’s Jackson ended the show with Bulletproof creating a climactic end to a skeptical evening. Fans cheered for more and walked out of the venue buzzing with lyrics, humming and praising the 21 year old songstress.

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