Running up on stage just in time, Sean Van Vleet of Empires jumps into the first song of the band’s most recent, Orphan.“Silverfire” grabs the attention of some patrons previously occupied by the pool tables in the back, and soon Empires is playing for a fully attentive audience.
On May 19, Empires played at Brighton Music Hall as part of their tour with Geographer. The songs they played that night were mostly from their latest album, and many seemed to know them well. Although they were openers, it was clear that some fans had come specifically to see Empires that night.
After “Silverfire”, the band began moving through some other high energy songs from Orphan such as “Hostage” and “Shadowfaux.” By the time they made it to “Please Don’t Tell My Lover” the audience was noticeably more active than they were at the beginning of the set. Van Vleet’s impressive vocal abilities shone through as he performed the song for an excited crowd.
At one point, Van Vleet paused to let everyone know that it was guitarist Tom Conrad’s birthday. The crowd belted “Happy Birthday” to the mildly embarrassed Conrad. Th moment emphasized Empires’ closeness with their fans. While there wasn’t the usual crowd pandering, it was clear that the group appreciated the support of those who were at the show.
Their place as openers kept their set relatively short, but they managed to sneak in an old favorite for long time fans. The set ended with “How Good Does it Feel?” and wrapped up the night on a satisfying note. Empires brought great rock showmanship with a sincere appreciation for their fans. This valuable combination is what makes their live show truly worth seeing.