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Little Empire, Empress Hotel and Mobley at Frank
My buddy and I got to Frank just as the opening band, Little Empire, was finishing their last few songs.
After they finished, the band began to break down their setup.
At this point, we made our way over to the bar and both ordered a beer and a Hot Polish, one of Frank’s many hotdog options.
My buddy received his order first.
I received mine shortly after with just enough beer left to make it through the meal.
Letting my food settle right before taking my next sip of the beer.
We finished our beers and food right before the second band, Empress Hotel, took the stage. Their guitarist is bending down to adjust his guitar while the band plays their first song.
Empress Hotel performed until around midnight and attracted the biggest crowd of the three bands that evening.
Watkins took off his jacket after the first song and continued to play in his tie and shirt until near the very end of their set.
Watkins took off his tie to end the night.
Empress Hotel Tour Report – September/October with Van Hunt
10/3/11 – House of Blues Cambridge Room – Dallas, TX
Before their first gig with Van Hunt in Richmond last month, the last time Empress Hotel had hit the stage was all the way back in June. With not too much information coming from their camp over the summer, we were pumped to see the band put up seventeen dates supporting R&B/rock fusion artist Van Hunt in late September. The tour covered the South, Midwest and West Coast mostly in small- to medium-sized clubs. This was a pretty big milestone for the band as it marked the first full national tour as Empress Hotel. Since June, the band has undergone some personnel changes in addition to building a setlist mostly comprised of unreleased tracks. Not only has Empress Hotel laid down tracks for their upcoming debut LP (set for release next spring), but they’ve also began writing for their expected follow-up. Some choice new cuts include opener “Heavy Halo”, the energetic “Last Picture Show” and “All the Drugs”, one of the darker songs in the band’s catalog. Along with the pop-focused tracks “Holly” and “Baby Octopus”, the future is looking bright judging from what we’ve been able to hear this tour.
The Operation Every Band crew was able to catch the band at Dallas’ House of Blues Cambridge Room earlier this month and we walked away pretty smitten with their showcase and we weren’t the only ones. The audience, most of which most likely weren’t aware of Empress Hotel’s music, were not only paying attention but were completely engaged. From bobbing heads to grooving bodies, Empress Hotel proved that their energy has the ability to move an audience. Their merch booth saw some good action after their performance as well. There’s no better way to win over fans than putting on a great show combined with strong songwriting, so it’ll be interesting to see how they’re exposure has grown by the next time they hit the road. Expectedly, Operation Every Band wasn’t the only media outlet to be turned on by Empress Hotel this month. Mapanare noted, “They move their sound around to make each song unique but never out of place” regarding their performance from Schubas in Chicago and The Muggle Show called Empress Hotel “a hard band to follow”, a pretty strong compliment for any supporting act.
The band wrapped up the tour with a few headlining shows on the path back to New Orleans from California, but it seems like that’s the last gig scheduled for the band through the rest of the year. This is our last Tour Report from Empress Hotel, but keep an eye out on their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information on dates as they are booked. If this tour is any indication, the band could have some bright opportunities not too far in the future.
Auld Lang Something – 10/3/11 – House of Blues Cambridge Room – Dallas, TX
Empress Hotel – News Round-Up – September/October
Late last month, Empress Hotel started up on their first nationwide tour alongside R&B/rock fusion artist Van Hunt. Along with gaining fans the old fashioned way by performing energetic sets night to night, Empress Hotel gained some additional coverage from local outlets across the country. Here are a couple of highlights:
Prior to Empress Hotel’s performance at Dallas’ House of Blues-Cambridge Room, Holly Hall from Mungle Show shared an extensive audio interview with the band. The band covers a lot of ground over the session from the background on their formation, the influences that bleed into their music and some information on the band’s debut LP due next spring. The band is also preparing a few steps ahead, as they are looking to re-enter the studio for a second album possibly to be released by the end of 2012. The best material to come out of the interview was just to get a sense of how excited Empress Hotel is for the future, so look for next year to be a breakout one for the young band.
Austin’s The Daily Texan caught up with the band while they were in town for a gig at the Cactus Club. The newspaper shared a nice interview focused on the band’s influences, but more notably they captured an energetic in-office performance of “Mach Bach” and new tune “Baby Octopus”.
Here Comes the New ChallengerEmpress Hotel
HERE COMES THE NEW CHALLENGER
I highly recommend listening to this song. Here’s some more info on the band:
“EMPRESS HOTEL is a pop ensemble based in New Orleans whose sound is inspired by both one hit wonders of the ’70s and legends such as Prince, Sparks, and Roxy Music. The band has a unique slant on their own pop songs though, with stream of consciousness lyrics, dynamic vocal melodies and layered harmonies. Their sound salutes the glory days of rock n roll, and truly lives on stage with an audience right there with them.” Read more HERE.