With over a million fans around the globe and sold out shows, the Texas rockers, Crown the Empire, made their way back to the UK. With the support from Volumes, an LA progressive metalcore band, and Coldrain, a Japanese group that has built their own considerable fan base in Europe, Asia, and North America, Crown the Empire delivered an explosive, quality music-filled evening in London.
Formed in 2010 and with three full-length albums under their belt, Crown the Empire has its own story to tell. With a few ups and downs and some members leaving, including the recent (2017) departure of David Escamilla, the former co-lead vocalist, the musicians are getting tighter and tighter with each performance, and are doing exceptionally well as a four-piece band.
Andrew “Andy Leo” Velasquez of Crown the Empire by AB
After a scorching summer, a cold autumn evening enveloped one of the O2 Academy’s venues as Crown the Empire and the supporting bands Volumes and Coldrain came to play a two-hour set, with the headliners CTE taking an hour. The opening band, Coldrain, was superb; they didn’t disappoint. With each song, the charismatic Masato delivered his usual style of strong vocals and his energy was transfixing. The second act was the LA-based Volumes, not known to many. They tried to keep up with the previous band’s level of performance, but unfortunately, the audience’s enthusiasm dropped by the end of their show. The sense of anticipation was growing though, the crowd was ready to bounce and headbang to the main rock stars; the moment Crown the Empire walked on the stage, the audience knew what to expect: a tremendous show!
Brendan Hoover of Crown the Empire by AB
All the well-known tracks were included, kicking off with Are You Coming With Me and Zero from the 2016 Retrograde album; they ‘set’ the stage on fire. The musicians cooled the crowd down with the slower-paced Memories of a Broken Heart from their 2012 album The Fallout. The song was previously recorded with David Escamilla and his powerful screamo-vocals, so there was some uncertainty in the air. Andy, however, did a pretty great job without David, and Hayden rose up to the task with his rasty-sounding voice – in no time, the fans were warmed up again and ready for more.
Crown the Empire by AB
The band launched into another track from The Fallout album, Voices, followed by Johnny Ringo. Andy’s dynamic lead vocals totally blew the audience away; his interaction with the crowd was equally amazing. The next song 20/20, from their upcoming 4th album, added more power to the show, as well as their newly released single What I Am, which was positively received by a sizable portion of those gathered in the O2 Academy. The band presented 6 more songs, including my personal favourite Machines, while adding more fuel to the proverbial fire. The time fast ran out, and the gig came to an end; the band bowed to the rapturous audience and then rushed to meet and greet fans… Who does that nowadays? All in all, Crown the Empire smashed the stage with their great setlist, music, and first-rate energy. Until next time…
Hayden Tree of Crown the Empire by AB
Written by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Sanja Struna
Featured photo © Crown the Empire
All other photos © AB