Sasquatch The Gorge Amphitheatre in beautiful George, Wash. will once again…
- Posted on Apr 17th 2011 6:10PM by Theo Bark
Sans partner Nick Littlemore, who mysteriously stopped touring but claims to be working on the new album, singer-guitarist Luke Steele performed the band's soothing dance numbers and Devo-inspired prog funk songs with touring members Anthony Mitolo and Surahn Sidhu of Aussie live disco band The Swiss backing him up on drums and guitars.
For the uninitiated, Empire of the Sun's live performance is an extremely dramatic affair, replete with bizarre and changing feathered and bedazzled outfits, amulets, sequined Hammer-pants, trippy visuals and four intergalactic back up dancers, dressed alternately as shimmering space mermaids, swordfish-faced horses and future geishas.
Behind a silk backdrop, Luke Steele emerged to open the show in his trademark feathered headdress, surrounded by billowing smoke and his alien dance troupe doing some kind of futuristic krumping, while the rest of the band looked like extras from '300,' but provided a burst of energy to the opener "Standing on the Shore."
While the visual spectacle was pretty amazing by all counts, it seemed to draw some of the sweetness from the songs, distracting from the music with the many costume changes and over the top antics. Audience members hoping to hear the band's singles, like the jangly 'Half Mast,' appeared a bit put off by the drama enacted on stage, and it didn't help that Steele barely acknowledged the crowd, only breaking character once, to introduce the band.
Ultimately, when Steele played his singles, the show worked. During the less melodic, funk driven album tracks in between, however, the crowd clearly lost energy, overwhelmed by the production and forlornly hoping to pogo to the songs they knew and loved.