Empire of the Sun and Alpine // Danforth Music Hall // 10.09.13
On Monday, September 9th, 2013 I made my way over to Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall for one of the craziest and wildly entertaining shows I’ve seen to date. Frequently attending shows all over Toronto I have seen countless concerts at Danforth Music Hall, but I have never seen the stage as epically as it was for Empire of the Sun. Being a huge EOTS fan I had high expectations, but for such a small venue I didn’t anticipate that such an intense dance/light/theatre/musical performance was about to blow my mind.
To set the tone, Australia’s Alpine started the show off right. Bursting with energy the band was tight, the music was loud, and the harmonies were glorious. I’d recently fell in love with the charming, cooing vocals of front women Phoebe Baker and Lou James when I heard Gasoline. Watching them perform live in all their energetic glory was truly magnificent. Accompanied by band members Christian O’Brien, Tim Royall, Ryan Lamb and Phil Tucker, this 6 piece powerhouse are a force to be reckoned with. Jumping, dancing, and swirling around the little stage, Alpine played while the crowd tripled. Placing an invitation at the end of their set come visit after the show, the band not only played their hearts out but was also amazingly friendly and approachable. I highly recommend checking out their album A is for Alpine, every track is supremely lovely.
After pleasing an eager crowed with a wicked performance, the stage was re-configured while men wearing EOTS jumpsuits re-arranged for the theatrics. At 9pm promptly, the lights dimmed, smoke started filling the hall, the band took their places and Luke Steele slowly rose up from beneath the stage. Adorned in black and gold cape with the classic EOTS headdress and a shimmering gold guitar, I knew the concert would be amazing. Accompanied by 4 dancers who twirled, spun, jumped and swirled their way to each song, their costumes were literally out of this world. Feeling as if I was transported to another planet (a wicket planet with amazing music, crazy lights and sparkling costumes) it was impossible to not be amazed.
The band played most songs off their new album Ice on the Dune, including personal favourites DNA, Alive and I’ll be Around. Confetti rained from the sky, smoke filled the air, and a glowing sea-creature emerged with dancers dressed in sword-fish suits twirled in unison to the classic Swordfish Hotkiss Night. The crowd really went wild when Walking on a Dream was played, not to mention Luke Steele made his way to the audience seeking backup singers!
The show was certainly one of the most entertaining concerts I’ve ever been to with an amazing vibe and thrilled audience. Every song was a combination between a play, a dance number, and a musical performance. All senses were stimulated between the lights, the sounds, the costumes, the prominent drums and the quirky vocals. If you’ve never listened to Empire of the Sun and are looking for something fun to add to your playlist I would highly recommend giving them a listen. Their new album Ice on the Dune is out, but don’t neglect the classic Walking on a Dream, it’s all worth your ears.
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