A day off usually means rest and relaxation, but to Dallas rockers Crown the Empire, it was the chance to headline a special engagement for a hometown crowd. Brent Taddie (drums) is originally from Pittsburgh and brought bandmates Andy Leo (vocals), David Escamilla (vocals), Brandon Hoover (guitar), Benn Suede (lead guitar), and Hayden Tree (bass) home to rock with the Pennsylvania fans. Opening with three songs from the wildly popular album The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways, Crown the Empire set the tone with the high-energy, musical storytelling they are known for. The floors shook at The Altar Bar (and adjacent properties) when they performed a compilation of songs from the Johnny Ringo Trilogy.
With a stellar light show behind them, Leo and Escamilla performed emotional dual vocals that integrate so well, it is difficult not to get caught up in the story. And the story is why the sold out crowd was there. Featuring musical tales, as intricate as any novel in print, Crown the Empire weaves the characters in and out of the songs, then reaches out to bring the listener in like a chorus. It was enthralling to witness the stage boundaries disappear as the audience and artist became one to sing, jump, and respond to the musical masterpieces.
After an encore (or two) the show ended, but concert attendees milled about outside the venue, unwilling to conclude the festive atmosphere Crown the Empire creates. The musicians felt the same, because for hours after the show, they patiently signed autographs and took pictures with fans, making sure everyone who waited had a chance to meet them. Best of all, I bought a copy of The Fallout and like a favorite storybook, I listened to it on replay during the entire three-hour drive home!