Empire Of The Sun defy typical genre classification. “Dance-rock,” “Synth-rock,” or “EDM” are a few labels often thrown at them. But from the moment they dim the lights for a live performance, the Australian outfit draws from a collage of musical and visual inspirations.

empire of the sun

EOTS was in Seattle this week for three sold-out shows at Seattle’s most venerable live music venue; the Showbox Market. Guitarist/frontman Luke “Emperor” Steele alone brought incredible energy to the stage. With a drummer and other accompaniement to round things out, they took the packed room on an intergalactic journey that dazzled the eye and tickled the ear.

Empire Of The Sun Walking On A Dream 10-Year Anniversary Tour

empire of the sun

They began things by opening with their familiar classic “Standing on the Shore.” From there they charged through reworked versions of album cuts from their landmark 2009 debut Walking on a Dream. The album rocketed EOTS to international stardom in electronic music circles.

Multiple songs from Walking On A Dream became commercial/soundtrack themes. The release is regarded as a gold standard recording of the genre. This latest touring package features re-touched and updated versions of several classic songs. In addition, they are performing a couple slower, acoustic numbers live for the first time. Fan favorites like “Chrysalis” and “Way to Go” are sprinkled in throughout, with the endlessly-remixed international smash “Alive” left for the end.

The musical portion of the evening included backup dancers changing costumes nearly every song. Paired with an inescapable jumbo-size projector screen at the rear of the stage. The screen ran through everything from 1970s commercials, to random Atari logos, to anime imagery, to more straight-ahead visual effects. The steady barrage of imagery and music results in something transporting and almost disorienting. EOTS throws a LOT at you in concert.

Empire Of The Sun @ Showbox Market

Aspects of what Empire Of The Sun does onstage have roots in heavy metal. Emperor Steele (who cites Metallica as one of his favorite bands) fancies monster, wailing guitar licks, for example. Undeniably some of what they do inextricably link to the Beach Boys, like their penchant for high-register vocal harmonies. David Bowie clearly informs other aspects, as Empire’s fully-costumed alter egos clearly draw from Ziggy Stardust.

Aspects of what they do are indistinguishable from what you might hear at yes, at a rave or EDM night in a club. But slapping a single label on EOTS serves only to shortchange them. Their carefully-crafted mythology and genre-bending sound will keep fans around the globe guessing at their inspirations.

Listen To Walking On A Dream Again Now!

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