The Roxy was like a sauna with a disco ball Wednesday night as Crown The Empire prepared to take the stage for their sold out show, rounding out the final few dates of their US tour with Out Came the Wolves, Palaye Royale and I See Stars.
David Hasselhoff was in attendance, discreetly tucked away in a corner booth. The venue was dark, the stage concealed by a drawn curtain as “Intro (SK-86)” began to play and the elaborate set was revealed. Two gigantic versions of their signature astronauts flanking the stage being the most impressive. The band members began to file out and take their places as the crowd cheered.
Midway through the set, singer Andrew Velasquez announced a band tradition. During sold-out shows they like to have shots of liquor crowd surfed up to the stage and into his mouth. The crowd obliged. Multiple times. The first shot made its way up through the hands of fans, and he gulped it down. The next two were delivered in a similar fashion- the audience crowd surfed a shot carrying fan up to the stage for the handoff. Security quickly ushered the shot deliverers off the stage, as Andrew grinned and downed each glass.
At a later point in the evening, Andrew requested everyone in the crowd lift a hand in the air, in a thumbs up gesture, and wiggle it around. Why? No reason other than it felt good. Crown the Empire is a fun band to watch, they give off such an incredible energy. Equally adept at melodic ballad like arrangements as they are with hard hitting scream rock refrains. They constantly interact with the crowd, engage with each other and it’s just so obvious that they are having a lot of fun – it’s contagious. In spite of the sweltering heat and sweat, it was impossible to not be consumed by their surging anthems. The energy exchange between the band and the crowd is palpable. Everyone in the venue drenched, jumping, crowd surfing and screaming the lyrics along. The band starts their Australian tour mid-September. Check them out if you get the chance.
CROWN THE EMPIRE
Photos: Angel Melanson