Song from their brief set list was basically all the songs from their debut album A Is For Alpine, including (and in this order): "Lovers", " The Vigour", "Too Safe", "Seeing Red", "Icy Poles", "Hands", "Gasoline", and the finale "Villages".
If you missed Alpine this time around, the seven piece band will be back in Minneapolis at the Nether Bar (Mill City Nights) on October 19th.
Empire of the Sun started shortly after 8pm with a drummer and keyboard/bassist and two dancers, warming up to "Lux". Then, like a Christ-figure, Luke Steele is slowly risen via a platform with his helmet and costume, as two additional dancers are revealed. What an entrance!
There were a few technical difficulties plaguing the show, including Luke Steele's guitar not working out and microphone mix issues, but overall, the synchronized dancing, light show, smoke, and overall theatrics made up for any issues.
The thing I noticed and mentioned in the audio recording, is that each song and set piece were all planned and designed for, indicating to me that Luke Steele (or whoever is the creative force behind it) has this amazing vision for this band. You can tell they worked really hard on the setlist, the dance routine and especially the costumes. It wasn't just the band on stage, the audience was also part of the event, with a few fans dressing up for the occasion (the face makeup, the funky headbands, etc).
Obviously fans loved and responded well to Empire of the Sun's singles, like "We Are the People" and "Walking on a Dream", and the encore song, "Alive". As for the visual part, I thought the biggest (perhaps strangest) surprise was when a giant puppet with a skull for a head came on behind the set.
At the end of the show, Luke Steele smashed his guitar to bits. Perhaps it was out of frustration because his guitar wasn't working out earlier in the set, but I felt this was all part of the show (considering how fast the cleanup crew came on stage with a brush immediately after Steele left the stage). I haven't seen guitar smashing in a long time, so that was really fun to witness live.
Empire of the Sun is currently on tour for Ice on the Dune. If you're still debating on spending that $40 or $50 to see Empire of the Sun, I'm here to tell you that it's totally worth the price of admission. It's a show, show, and it's something you probably won't experience in a typical rock n roll concert.
PS, Just randomly, but it's worth noting that the other half of Empire of the Sun, Nick Littlemore, was not present on this tour.
Empire of the Sun at the State Theatre, Minneapolis (09/16/13)