Words by Dan Schaffel | Photo by Joe Papeo

New Yorkers gathered Thursday for an unforgettable post-Labor Day experience brought to them by Empire of the Sun. The Aussie duo’s 90-minute set at the Lower West Side’s Pier 26 was much more than one of the venue’s ‘last hurrahs’ for the season: it was a spectacle.

Amidst launching tracks off their latest release, Ice on the Dune, well-recruited support by a handful of dancers, musicians, and stage performers snatched everyone’s attention. The display of magnificent costume design, uncanny props, and carefully crafted choreography made songs such as “DNA”, “Concert Pitch”, and the title track “Ice on the Dune” absorb attendees in the world Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore have created with this band’s electro-pop sound.

Midway through the set it became apparent that the Empire’s two biggest songs would be left for the end. The choice to do that in itself kept the focus on how the duo was climbing up to the set’s peak with their equally as good, lesser known material like “Standing on the Shore”, which included people you may find on planet Devo, executing precise routines. Anticipation kept building for what would be the set’s final song and only encore.

“Walking on a Dream” did not fail to be recognized by any member of the audience. The group’s most well-known song, which has been remixed by countless DJs around the world, epitomized the crowd’s fulfillment of the evening when all sang “We are always running for the thrill of it…” Following a brief break, the artists came back on to conclude the night with their latest smash hit,”Alive”.

On what held up to be a perfect night with the perfect Hudson River breeze, Empire of the Sun executed a nearly flawless show. It was as complete as one could ask for, blending showmanship, theatrics, production, and transition. They have successfully established themselves as all-star performers, and it will be exciting to see what they continue to churn out in coming years.


TheWaster.com | New York City