Written by Nathan Holt
Photo by Nathan Holt
Some bands can’t stand still for long, which is a good thing for Eye Empire. After supporting Sevendust on their last tour, Eye Empire have taken to the road again with their 2012 headlining tour. The band, which features members of Dark New Day, Submersed and Switched, brought their explosive stage performance and music to rock the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan.
Smaller bands that open for a bigger act normally have a few issues, but this night kicked off to a great start with the opening band Sevin from nearby Kalamazoo. The band played a short, but sweet 25 minute set while giving out the occasional free shirt to the crowd. Even though the band has been around for almost two years, they are quite musically balanced with a groove that takes most bands years to find and fine tune. With a great mainstream rock sound that shows in songs like “Changes” and “Saved?” the band has a great future in store for them.
Another nearby band, Know Lyfe from Lansing was up next. Bringing their high energy to the stage, everyone banged their head to the beat while lead singer Alfonso Civile covered the stage giving everyone in the front a smile for supporting them. With a couple of albums under their belt, the band provided a harder metal sound with a mix of melodic choruses thrown in. After their first song, they continued with more music off their newest CD Empire of Wolves: “Ephysians,” “Oceans” and “Cobraki.” If you’re looking for a band that has a mix of All That Remains and Atreyu, you’ve found it.
Up next, Ballz Deluxe brought their hard rock sound as well as a noticeable addition of loyal fans to crowd. Apparently the band has a tight knit group of followers who seem to trail after wherever the band goes. Kicking off their set with “Stand Up and Rage,” it was followed by “Next to You,” “Destroy,” “Are You Ready?”, “I Know You,” “Walking Away” and their last song “Family Reunion (What About Me?).” After putting on a great sounding show, you can see why their fans follow them from show to show.
As the lights dimmed for the last time, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band began to play followed by lead singer Donald Carpenter welcomed everyone: “Machine Shop, thank you for coming out tonight! We’re Eye Empire, let me see those hands!” That’s all it took before the room exploded as the band kicked off “Ignite” with a scream from Donald. Afterwards he stressed how important each member of the crowd are to the band in their support.”It doesn’t matter how many of you show up, it’s who shows up. Whether you drove three, four hours we promise to give you everything we can.”I’ve heard bands say things along those lines, but you can tell they mean every word. Did they give the crowd everything they had? That is exactly what they did.
The band has a unique hard rock sound, with a slight Sevendust-like sound, which makes sense with bassist Corey Lowery being the brother of Sevendust’s lead guitarist Clint Lowery. With a seemingly endless amount of energy, the band continued their set with “Idiot,” “The Great Deceiver,” “Feels Like I’m Falling,” “Bull in a China Shop,” “Angels & Demons,” “Self-Destructive” and the melodic “More Than Fate.” The band ran around the stage and played mere inches from the crowd at times, which seemed to draw the audience further into the music.
Wrapping up their set with the songs “Victim” and the hit “I Pray,” Eye Empire is definitely one of those bands that sound ten times better live than on a recording because of the pure energy and feeling that comes from their live performance. Once finished, they each made their way into the crowd to shake everyone’s hand, sign anything and to talk with anyone that approached them. Sure all the bands that opened did an excellent job, but Eye Empire was the band that took the show. Regardless of whether they support or headline another show, they definitely know how to put on a show and make the crowd feel appreciated.
If you would like to see more Photos from our photographer, Nathan Holt, CLICK HERE for the show gallery.