By Sharlene Celeskey, /Posted at;nevalleynews.org/ –
Some of the best concerts are those that you attend without any expectations or only vaguely familiar with their songs. That was the case on Apr. 18 at Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix. I would have missed the Australian band, Empire of the Sun, if a friend had not suggested I go see them.
When David Limon invited me, and said, “Empire of the Sun is Pet Shop Boys meets Boy George,” he was spot-on. Not as complex or innovation as classic ‘70s music, ‘80s new wave is often written off as a joke as critics fail to give it credit for being fun and upbeat. When I saw Empire of the Sun on the Jools Holland’s show on MTV Live I found them intriguing. I was surprised to discover this electronic glam new wave band was formed in 2007 since they were only now catching on in the United States.
I sat in Comerica Theatre open to the musical experience. When lights started strobing on the stage, and a video of a circular disc appeared and began moving and evolving until it looked like an alien trying to escape I knew this was no ordinary show. Violet and blue smoke filled the stage while the drummer played a basic dance beat adding to the anticipation. When a quartet of metallic clothed dancers, two with oversized sheer wings, appeared on stage I was hooked. I heard screams from the crowd, when the singer made his grand entrance down the stairs singing “Friends.” His elaborate shiny sculptured headdress gave him a look of someone from another world. Immediately I jump up and swayed and danced to tunes that made me feel good. Although, I had only heard their hits, “We Are the People” and “Walking on a Dream,” I liked each song the minute it started. Jamming to the music, I heard influences from Prince to Duran Duran to Morris Day and the Time to New Order to Depeche Mode. I also heard a band that had created their own style of lively music.
I was intrigued and in awe at the extravagant costumes and basic stage set that came alive with a light show and videos. Everything appeared extremely well planned out and inventive. Even more impressive was how they achieved this without loads of equipment, racks of clothes, dozens of dancers and a multitude of props like today’s female pop stars use. I felt the positive vibe of the astounded audience around me as I grooved to the music eagerly waiting what would come next….
Continued via… Source: Northeast Valley News : Empire of the Sun entertains in technicolor