Empire of the Sun live at Terminal 5

Posted by The G on August 10, 2010 under G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun

On August 9, 2010, Australian band Empire of the Sun played their second ever show in New York at Terminal 5.  Almost everything about the evening was just a bit off.  The night started off for me with a strange encounter with lead singer and sole original member Luke Steele.  Once the show began, we were “treated” to an hour long DJ set where the bass was so heavy, it was nearly impossible to hear the music.  Also, when a DJ opens for a band in a standing room only venue for a sold out show, it’s nearly impossible to dance and watching a DJ mix records is hardly exciting.  The audience seemed confused by a scantily clad woman, wearing a white wig and a mask who sat on a chair on stage reading a pamphlet for the enitre hour and didn’t move.  Empire of the Sun came out finally at 10:15 (zoinks!) and as usual at shows, the photographer pit in front of the first row is occupied for the first 3 songs.  Many of the photographers were standing on a riser thus blocking the view of the people in the front row and a shoving match ensued.  It nearly ended in a fist fight with people being ejected from the venue but it was narrowly avoided.  The spectacle made the first part of the show a very uncomfortable experience. Coupled with the fact that Terminal 5’s notoriously horrible sound system was in full effect tonight, at times, it was impossible to tell what song was being played.

On the up side, Empire of the Sun was great. They had awesome visuals, great costumes, cool lighting and dancers that were straight out of an LSD trip.  They played their entire debut album “Walking on the Sun,” (except for “Country”) as well as a few new songs. Luke Steele played guitar and keyboards, danced around the stage a little bit, and had some over the top costumes.  The show was a very lean hour long, which is pretty disappointing considering most shows in the Great Depression of 2010 consist of 3 acts so you really get the most bang for your buck even if you don’t end up enjoying all of them.  The general consensus in the front row was “it was a great show BUT….”  With that kind of word of mouth, it’s uncertain if we’ll ever get to see Empire of the Sun perform in the United States again, since their debut performances in the States are based off their 2 year old album.  The future is uncertain for this band, but as I said previously, I left the show with a smile on my face.  If you don’t know Empire of the Sun’s music, I definitely recommend their album “Walking on a Dream,” as it sounds like familiar songs from the New Wave era of the 80s, yet they are all originals.

See more pictures (including the Swordfish Hotkiss Nights dancers) as well as the set list after the jump.

Swordfish Hotkiss Nights Dancers (in the background)

"Dammit G! I told you no pictures!"

Empire of the Sun taking a bow.

Empire of the Sun's Setlist at Terminal 5 in New York on 8/9/10

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  • Jeff said,

    Most realistic review of this show yet. it was a great show BUT. says it all. The EOTS record is sonically very dynamic. All of this was lost in one of the worst sound systems I’ve ever heard at T5. Ear plugs actually made it sound better as they took the searing highs out of the frequency range.

    I thought the ‘dancers’ were a little distracting and their choreography routine reminded me of something 13 year old girls would come up with at a slumber party. Sometimes I thought I was watching a Tai Bo video live or something. Bottom-line is, Luke didn’t need them; he’s an engaging enough performer that just him and his backup band would’ve been enough for me.

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