Some blogs have suggested that Australia’s Empire of the Sun should have appeared on the main stage at Coachella before Arcade Fire. This would have had them replacing psychedelic prog-rock outfit Animal Collective. The Animal Collective show was visually creative, but the music hit only two notes: monotone and emotionless, and because of this, it made everyone restless. I was surprised by how bored I felt, cus I love Merriweather Post Pavilion. Anyway, though I was glad to have caught those guys, their performance was ultimately a fail. And given I’d already nominated our very dear Robyn for their honoured set-time, upon my return home I thought I’d check out Empire of the Sun to see what all the fuss was about.
So I did:
I don’t get it.
All the visual artifice, make up and bug-eyed space camp-y-ness was really distracting. Sure, their show was interesting to watch with all the effort put into their DIY costume esthetic, and the far-too-numerous nods to David Bowie, but as I watched I found myself forming a look of horror on my face.
It just seems so vapid.
And in the music video below, the dudes look like they’re on a pill cocktail.
I will say the Empire of the Sun show at Coachella presented something different than all the other acts. They really went above and beyond in terms of creating a set onstage. And I like the lights on the guitars. But this band reminds me too much of Flight of the Conchords — both musically and aesthetically — only sincere (wait, is this sincere?). Anyway, the music isn’t that great. And, it’s been done.
Another negative is that the band appears to have influenced a buncha guys to sport feather headdresses… and makeup… at the festival. Is this a bad thing? Debatable, but I thought so. I know guys wore eyeliner in the 90s a la Billy Corgan, but the sheer arrogance they gave off this time around seemed like too much.
Perhaps the thing that really horrifies me is that this music is for a new crop of kids that are of a different generation than myself. Maybe marketers will start showcasing young men wearing coloured makeup and headdresses to sell things, and one day I will assimilate and it will become normal for me to see these makeup/headdress men on Coke bottles, cupcake wrappers and the like.
Or maybe I’m just not that cool anymore.
But I’m really not very old…
Photo courtesy of lastfm.com.