There wasn't a huge crowd in attendance, but that really didn't seem to matter to this group. They tore into the crowd with the explosiveness of an atom bomb, starting off with “Ignite (Cause Of Impact)”. After several more powerhouse tracks, Carpenter commented on the crowd: “It's not about how many people you play for, but about whoyou play for. Each and every one of us deserves that respect, you know?” After another song from their debut, they ventured into a new track which the setlist calls “Weakness”. Being so close to the stage, as well as trying to take pictures, the audio wasn't always clear to me, but this track was heavy. After that, they went into “Bull In A China Shop”, which Carpenter described as the band's “crowd participation song”. It certainly got everyone riled up, screaming at the top of their lungs and headbanging in unison.
The entire band turned out to be not only amazing musicians, but wonderful people. I had already met Bennett, who said he was no longer bored – drumming on his practice pad – simply sweaty. Carpenter was there, chatting with a few teenage fans sporting older Eye Empire shirts (I had already bought mine, stowing it away). He noticed me out of the side of his eye and came over, thanking me for coming to the show. I spoke to him about writing a review and posting some pictures of the set, which he seemed really enthusiastic about. I let him continue to chat it up with other adoring fans and began an impromptu conversation with Köchmit. I had just finished my talk with Carpenter when he and I both noticed we were standing next to each other. He turned around quickly and gave me a warm hello, introducing himself and then asking about me. I proceeded to ask silly questions such as, “How long have you been growing your dreads?” and “When did you start playing guitar?” He was nice enough to humor me with the answers (3 years and 13 years old, respectively). Finally, Lowery arrived, having made his way past the tables (this is partially a restaurant, remember?) of fans and over to the merchandise stand. I told him about discovering the band through our mutual friend, and guitar virtuoso, Mike Martin, and we started discussing how the band had gone about releasing their album. When I had overstayed my welcome just long enough, I informed everyone that I had to get back on the road. To my surprise, Carpenter came over and told me that, he too, had to head out and thanked me once more for coming, asking my name again to make sure he knew it. The rest of the band all shook my hand, thanked me for my support, and told me they hoped we could meet again soon. It was amazing to me, as this is only the second time when a band I've seen has cared so much about its fans to ask me my name to make sure they remember it. It's rare you find a band that is not only talented, but cares so much about their fans. I suppose that's just one more reason for me to like Eye Empire.
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