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UK Band Takes on Ybor City

London-based band La Roux played at the Ritz in Ybor City on Thursday to rousing effects.

La Roux, which means “red-haired one” in French, consists of two band members: frontwoman Elly Jackson and fellow songwriter and producer Ben Langmaid.

The band is currently touring the U.S., performing with fellow electro-pop bands Panic Bomber and Francis and the Lights.

Panic Bomber opened the show with main band member Richard Haig singing and playing synth beats on a computer. The band performed with intense energy by dancing around the stage, and Haig set the mood by grasping the microphone and shaking his hips.

Later in the set, Haig played the keyboard and was accompanied by three trumpet players in a few songs, an unusual occurrence for an electro-pop/synth band. This really comes as no surprise and by looking at the band they are anything but typical, wearing extravagant eye makeup and having outrageous hair with behemoth volume.

The second act of the show was performed by Francis and the Lights. Front-man Francis Farewell Starlite began by singing mellow songs, providing a contrast to the musical fare offered by the first band. Francis and the Lights offered a sound that resembled a mix of 90’s pop and electro/synth, which was not only bizarre, but unfortunately very dry and uninteresting.

Later in the set, the music picked up. Starlite took off the black trench coat he was wearing and leaped around the stage, getting the crowd excited with his plenteous brown hair flying around and his feet moving fast to the music.

However, his efforts folded under the talents of his fellow headliners. The stage performance only consisted of Starlite and a bass player who stood in the same spot throughout the entire performance. Judging by the overall set, Francis and the Lights was utterly monotonous and unoriginal.

Nonetheless, by the time La Roux came onstage, the crowd was energized and excited. The stage went black and a noise resembling a heartbeat was heard, followed by a loud bang. As soon as the lights went on, Jackson and her band, which consists of a keyboard player, synth player and drummer, were visible to all.

The band opened with “Tigerlily,” which resulted in a large applause from the crowd. The entire performance was well put together and Jackson’s voice sounded wonderful, mirroring the sound from their album.

She also had a great stage presence, connected with her audience and even covered the song “Under my Thumb” by the Rolling Stones. This song displayed her talent for performing a different type of music and something that was not in her comfort zone.

The last song played was “In For The Kill,” La Roux’s latest single, and was followed by an encore – their first radio hit, “Bulletproof.” Overall, La Roux delivered an amazing performance both musically and through their prominent stage performance.

La Roux’s performance was outstanding; offering good music, good dancing and a great time.