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News October 27, 2015

Live review: Empire Of The Sun, Vivid Live

Ever think you’d witness instrument destruction by a man dressed in a shiny golden dress surrounded by Lycra clad dancers in the Concert Hall of Sydney’s prestigious Opera House? Neither did we. Tonight’s offering from Empire of The Sun was a far cry from the symphony you saw with your grandma that time, though there were more elderly dance moves on show than we predicted.

::LIVE GALLERY

It’s been three years since we’ve heard from the Empire Of The Sun boys, which is about two years too many, but tonight TMN was lucky enough to attend the highly anticipated WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE ALBUM DEBUT (so the ticket reads) of the duo’s sophomore album Ice On The Dune (though you will have to wait until June 14 for the real deal), and what a debut it was! Within moments it is fairly obvious why it has taken Mr. Luke Steele and Mr. Nick Littlemore so long to return to our stages- this is a serious production. We assume it took the better part of a year constructing the headdress’ alone.

Not going to lie, this is a strange atmosphere. There is an element of respect that one must have when attending the Opera House (someone should tell the girls in denim short-shorts- ’this is not a festival’), and it seems the audience don’t quite know how to act here. The occasional fist pump can be seen rising from the crowd, but for the first couple of songs bums remain firmly in seats. That is, of course, until the opening riff of We Are The People and the excitement can no longer be contained. They kill it, of course they do.

Then there’s Alive, recently released of the new album, which is packed full of those iconic delirious chants and rising builds we have come to love from these lads. The track is super fresh and totally vibrant and uplifting amongst some heavier tunes. It is certainly the anthem of every dance floor for the next few months, and sounds like it could be a shout out of love and appreciation for the bands fans, who respond marvellously tonight with some killer shimmies and a slow clap along.

There are more costume changes than a Cher concert. Dancers flit off stage and in what seems like lightening speed return with LED lit guitar shaped objects and gyrate around stage for a while. It’s all very comical. The set is incredible though, and most certainly in keeping with the VIVID theme, a fantasia of light! Unfortunately, it seems to me all this hullabulloo is somewhat a distraction from the real issue here- the music itself teeters somewhere between above average and ‘interesting’ (like your mum would say when she disapproves). Let’s just blame the sound guy though.

Luke Steele is a total rock-star, and God he looks cool: like a cross between an Aztec God and a shogun warrior. Unfortunately though, his unwillingness to connect with the audience leaves us feeling a little cold. There may have even been a little ‘How ya going?’ thrown in for good measure, but that was about it. Then there was the guitar smashing thing, which we hope he’s not making a habit of because that’s an expensive habit to keep up- just ask The Who.

The masses were happy, we were allowed to take drinks into the Concert Hall (which almost never happens) and they played Walking On A Dream… what more could you ask for?

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