Music Reviews — 21 June 2013
Empire of the Sun at Gotham Hall: A Concert Review

Empire of the Sun
Gotham Hall, New York, NY
June 20, 2013

Concert Review: Empire of The Sun

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Sometimes a break is all you need. After nearly five years away from the spotlight indie music darlings, Empire of the Sun are back with the new album titled, “Ice On The Dune” and a stage show unlike anything we have ever seen before. On Thursday night the keyboard and synth heavy band came to New York City for an exclusive secret concert for the MTV Iggy’s, “The Music Experiment 2.0″ at Gotham Hall. was front and center to bring you all the magic and mystery of the evening.

Almost an hour before Empire of the Sun would play a single note the party had already begun. Shortly after 9pm we made our way into the venue. Our first glimpse of what was going on inside seemed to be coming straight from the Stanley Kubrick movie “Eyes Wide Shut.” As far as the eye could see die hard fans donned masks, eccentric hats and even spaceman suits. Images of attendees amazing outfits and short looped videos of everything from scenes of nature to natives praying to their gods were projected onto the walls of the mammoth Gotham Hall. It was a trippy and beautiful scene. After soaking this up with our eyeballs the stage quickly went dark. The band would not hit the stage just yet. Like any true showmen a build up had to occur. Several scantily clad men and women took to the stage to beat drums, breathe fire and dance their asses off. The audience took note and followed suit.

With the energy at an all time high the men of Empire of the Sun took the stage wearing their insanely cool stage costumes. From this point it was anything goes. As the band ripped into the first few songs including, “Standing on the Shore”, “DNA” and “We Are the People” it was apparent that the time off only helped them become better, more skilled musicians. Lead singer, Luke Steele owned the keyboard and guitar, creating a sonic wall of fire that gave everyone in the house a satisfying burn. The same could be said for Steele’s band mate drummer, Nick Littlemore, who owned every beat and cymbal crash most notably on the title track of, “Ice On The Dune.”

As the show continued on video screens transported the audience into a world dedicated to each song. In the middle of the show dancing women who had graced the stage earlier appeared in scarily sexy costumes taking us on a virtual trip to a dystopian future. The show was seriously that detailed. When the band finally ripped into their first major hit, “Walking On A Dream” the place exploded into a full on rave with everyone singing along. This song sounds amazing live and confirms why most people got into this band in the first place. The scope of this review cannot convey how outstanding this performance was. Empire of the Sun gets it. We just wish other bands would take note.

- Jay Rubin



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