LIVE REVIEW: Crown The Empire at Heirloom Arts Theatre – Danbury, CT 9/14/14

Crown The Empire 2014

It takes plenty of talent, charisma and momentum to climb the ranks in an industry, especially an artistic one. Crown The Empire have been relentless, releasing two bold concept LPs (both after a self-released, successful EP) and touring non-stop. Now, the group has another headlining tour in the books, proving their hard work has been paying off.

Their tight performance aside, Crown The Empire were also very savvy with their choices in support. Youth In Revolt, Ice Nine Kills, Secrets and Volumes preceded them, with plenty of fan fare and solid performances amongst their openers. The acts were different enough, but no band was too off base or alienating for fans.

The headliners themselves opened with the intro “A Call To Arms (Act I)” from their latest cut, The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways. From that point, it was pure momentum. A good chunk of their latest album’s tracks were played, but an even spread of all the band’s material (especially fan favorite album The Fallout) was presented.

A highlight was the medley performed a bit early in the set. Crown The Empire’s discography has three songs telling the fictional story of a character named Johnny Ringo. The story spreads across all of their releases, the latest album finishing the story. The “Johnny Medley” offered bits from all three songs (“Johnny Ringo,” “Johnny’s Revenge,” “Johnny’s Rebellion”) done well and in a truly entertaining fashion.

Plenty of crowd interaction allowed for the show to not be entirely one-sided and stale. Vocalists Andy Leo and David Escamilla made sure to check in with the show-watchers every now and then, creating a community feel. Stripped down acoustic performances of the band’s songs “Lead Me Out Of The Dark” and “Millennia” provided sing-alongs and funny banter from the band.

Throughout, Crown The Empire kept the perfect balance between showmanship and theatrics. A vivid light show flickered all set, but it did not feel over the top or too forced. It felt intimate, but with performances done well enough to merit a larger-than-life stage. The best thing about the show was that it did not need such grand measures to be theatric and exciting.

Crown The Empire put on one hell of a show, and the lights and stages will probably only get bigger if even more people catch these talented gents at a local stop.