Empire of the Sun @ The Ogden Theatre, Friday-Sunday, June 14-16, times vary, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, $45-adv, $50/door, ages 16+, 303/832-1874, ogdentheatre.com
"Everything is becoming science fiction,” claimed J.G. Ballard, the dystopian novelist whose best-known works include Empire of the Sun, an autobiographical account of his childhood in Shanghai. But while Nick Littlemore and Luke Steele’s band Empire of the Sun is commonly assumed to be a reference to Ballard, the duo insist that’s just coincidence.
As for their Kabuki makeup, Mandarin robes, neo-primitive headdresses and extravagant stage sets, the two Aussie art-school graduates credit a shared obsession with surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. In any case, the EDM duo clearly don’t shy away from science fiction tropes on releases like Ice on the Dune, a 2013 concept album involving the theft of a magic jewel by a dastardly King of Shadows.
The band’s current Walking on a Dream Decade Anniversary Tour is promoting this February’s “10th Anniversary Edition” of the debut album, which technically came out in 2008, but who’s counting? The reissue includes a previously unreleased single “Chrysalis,” which sounds vaguely like MGMT covering New Order, and would likely have been confined to a B-side back in the vinyl era. But this three-night Denver run will at least tide fans over until the band’s next proper album.