It has taken me about a week to collect my thoughts on the Empire of the Sun concert. It was the first show of their brief stopover for a U.S. debut. I first wrote an article (“Where The Wild Things Really Are” - http://www.internetdj.com/article/where-the-wild-things-really-are-1115) targeting their freshman album ‘Walking On A Dream’, which is in a league entirely of its own. A devoted fan from the beginning, I have kept my ears to the ground for the onslaught of anticipated concerts I that didn't come as quickly as I had expected. I certainly thought it strange everyone was so slow on the uptake; even stranger when I started hearing their songs in commercials. My hat remains tipped to the advertisers of America being so ahead of the curve. It would behoove them to start telling viewers what band and song are featured in their commercials. This would certainly make me more inclined to watch if that was the case, but I digress.
For a year I have driven my other half crazy over the Empire of the Sun concerts I knew were coming, begging him to keep on the lookout. I would be lying to you if I said that I went into the show excited down to the very minute before they played, but at the last second I had a fleeting thought of doubt. What if this was one of those times I was faced with the awful truth that not all bands are up to snuff live? Mon Dieu! Thankfully, the second I saw the costumes, spiky crowns, and space boots I exhaled a sigh relief. All was right with the world. The very first note they played had somehow flipped the magic party switch and there was no turning back. Donning odd concert wear such as white wig epaulets, fur coats, and a wheelchair for one number in particular, the group certainly brought forth a menagerie that blew away my memories of the circus I attended in Belgium during the 5th grade. Between the back up dancers and the band, there was an overwhelming sense that all were working with ease as one entity.
The avant garde costumes and eclectic modern dance moves enhanced every bit of the show, allowing Empire to get lostin the music. At times I find that bands tend to embellish (almost to a fault) during life performances. Here....not so much. The swordfish heads their dancers wore for Swordfish Hotkiss Night were a particular favorite amongst the crowd. They are a band that is a must see live and the youtube videos don't do them justice. Trust me, I've checked them out. Their music was that of an ethereal celebration bridging the gap between humanity and the super natural. Their cords and funk were fresh, gutsy, and intoxicating. I feel forever part of this show somehow and, for a brief moment in time, experienced musical nirvana. For all I know, I could have been sitting Lotus chanting “om” for an hour. As I've said before, Empire of the Sun truly is a wellspring of funk and this experience was the full tilt boogie I had imagined.
A spellbinding live rendition of Walking On A Dream cemented this concert as a true epoch in my life. When the world ends I want to be at an Empire of the Sun Concert.