On a cool summer Friday night (June 29) at L.A.'s beloved Fonda Theatre, electro-glam rockers, Empire of The Sun played the first of three dates to close out their brief, one month U.S. tour. A nine city stint to celebrate ten years since the initial release of their landmark, debut album, Walking On A Dream. An album which gave birth to their biggest hit to date and one that laid the blueprint to their unique glam style set against the backdrop of very catchy electro-pop which has drawn various fans from across the spectrum. A very good reason as to why the band sold-out three consecutive nights with ticket prices on the black market easily exceeding triple digits.
For the first of the three nights at a prompt 10PM start time, it was only fitting that the pop-rockers kick off the show with "Standing On The Shore." The very first track from their debut album which they were touring on. But not before a proper opening intro of droning ambience with the band's lead man Luke Steele and his recognizable headpiece in front of the stage's LED backdrop. To say the least, it was an iconic image for those in attendance.
"Half Mast" followed shortly thereafter and in its live incarnation, the dance-pop tune took on a rock identity with frontman, Luke Steele sans headpiece axing the tune's rhythm with electric guitar in hand.
A few unreleased songs later, an old wise man begins to speak. Luke Steele makes his way to the LED screen as if he's summoned by the older fellow. The room darkens and a neon-lit guitar appears strapped to an alien like figure with a giant cone-shaped helmet. The very familiar acoustic strummed melody of "We Are The People" begins to play and the theatre screams in joy. It was certainly the highlight of the night for me.
With one of the biggest cats out of the bag though and about 60 minutes left in the show, Empire Of The Sun capitalized and filled most of the space with mainly unreleased tunes which are presumed to be featured on the band's next album. Many were in more an experimental, electronic vein touching on '80s rock and pop rhythms often featuring the era's famous gated reverb. It was a special treat for the Empire fanatics.
About 75 minutes into the show, Empire Of The Sun attempted to close the night but with an insistent encore from those in attendance, the band returned to the stage for two more tunes including their most joyous tune to date, "Alive." It was the highest possible note they could've ended the night on.