It’s hard to see any other band the same once you’ve experienced the theatricality of Australian electronic-rock duo Empire of the Sun. It’s not everyday you see a frontman like Luke Steele command a stage in his Emperor Steele costume complete with white eye makeup and a feathered headdress.
A collective of dancers, dressed as outlandish and glamorous as Steele, fed a surrealistic energy to an already otherworldly show. Psychedelic images flashed across the Downtown Stage’s LCD screens, which melded perfectly with the studio-quality sound of the band on groovy tracks like “Awakening” and “DNA.”
Steele’s ability to switch effortlessly between his signature vocal range and falsetto added a rich authenticity to the songs. Showmanship only escalated as the band’s lead guitarist grinded his instrument’s fretboard along the edge of the stage, and Steele smashed his own to pieces. Sure this set was a spectacle, but Empire of the Sun backed itself up 100 percent of the way.