Crown The Empire at The Roxy

Crown The Empire, The Roxy, August 2, 2017

And then there were four –and the remaining of Crown The Empire absolutely captivated the sold out audience at the legendary Roxy Theater in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Despite the stifling heat onstage and off, Crown The Empire and their ardent fans joined together as one, celebrating the legacy of a band who has certainly seen both stratospheric highs and devastating lows all within the seven years of a standout career. While categorized as a metalcore band, there has always been a sense of dramatics and intrigue to be found within the sonic entreaties of Crown The Empire, all of which were gloriously on display with the infernal confines of The Roxy Theater.  All this and terrific opening acts too!

If any band was ready to advance the imaginative legacy of Crown The Empire, it would be Out Came The Wolves – who unleashed their own rapturous brand of sonic devastation early on. With songs ranging from the bleak pop existentialism of Bleed to the all-out vengeance on display in ILoveHateYou, it won’t be long before this massively talented collective find themselves on the top of the bill instead of in the opening breakfast hour. Palaye Royale brought their own glam rocking anthems to the Roxy stage next, unveiling songs from their Boom Boom Room release on Sumerian Records. And then I See Stars arrived in the co-headlining spot, setting the night on fire with songs from all across their vast and epic career. Their latest album Treehouse on Sumerian Records shows that I See Stars is indeed ready to sail towards even more adventurous shores, and it is exhilarating to see the band live at this juncture of their career.

And now it was time for the headlining Crown The Empire experience, and their live show continues to be a thrilling extravaganza of sight and sound. They somehow managed to jam their two inflatable astronauts and giant banner on the sweltering Roxy stage, and delivered a raging performance that sent the room spinning in auditory ecstasy. Opening with the double assault of Are You Coming With Me and Zero – the first two songs of their most recent magnum opus Retrograde on Rise Records – Crown The Empire unleashed a towering performance. The four members delivered the goods with a renewed sense of passion and an all-out sense of urgency. In addition to current standout reveries Aftermath and Hologram, classic fan favorites such as Memories Of A Broken Heart and Johnny Ringo were also played – and the adoration from the crowd certainly fueled the already staggering live show. Crowd surfing and moshing was in full force – and as is the grand tradition of any Crown The Empire sold out show – audience members were invited to crowd surf shot glasses of whisky up onstage and into the mouth lead vocalist Andrew Leo – and a few participants in the crowd continued on with that burning CTE ritual.

Andrew Leo is the sole front man of Crown The Empire at this point, and his infectious charisma, unbridled energy and soaring vocals sent the material soaring! Brandon Hoover handled all of the guitars duties with a mighty amount of skill and precision, unleashing a devastating wall of atmospheric intrigue. And what a pummeling force of nature the CTE rhythm section is, courtesy of Hayden Tree on bass and Brent Taddie on drums. Hoover and Tree would also contribute in the vocal department, adding a definitive sense of urgency to the live show. These four talented musicians set the night on fire, delivering a show that will be revered by fans for a long time to come. Was this really the second to last show of the tour? You couldn’t tell by all the positive energy and powerhouse performances emitting from the Roxy stronghold.  For a much deserved encore, Crown The Empire ended the night with blazing renditions of Initiation and Machines, leaving a lingering impression on all in attendance.  What a wild and blistering night on the Sunset Strip with the perfect combination of touring bands!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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