Little Image at Empire Control Room

Little Image at Empire Control Room

October 1, 2023 in Concert Reviews

by dj lemonhead

Alt-pop trio Little Image, originally from Dallas, hit the stage with high energy on September 21 at Empire Control Room.

The night began with Little Image’s first opener, Levi Evans. The songwriter started the show off with a set of six songs showcasing his diverse catalog of songs including recent release, “Talk About It” and upcoming single “Complicated.”

All three performers are a part of a larger artist collective called NOFUN! based in Los Angeles, which will be touring in November. Levi shocked the crowd by admitting to being a concert-headling first-timer – A role he fits in seamlessly with his engaging stage presence keeping the crowd moving.


Photos by Spencer O'Neal (@spencerponeal)

Hastings, a pop-rocker out of Nashville, Tennessee continued to keep the crowd energized. He hit the stage accompanied only by his drummer, Holden, but his booming energy filled the stage the same way any four-piece band could. Think Shawn Mendes, but cooler and with drums that shake your soul. Hastings's devoted fans showed out lining the barricade yelling his songs without missing a beat. He played the guitar for some songs, specifically, “Blank Me,” a crowd - and personal - favorite.

This was Hastings's third show in Austin, and hopefully not the last.


Photos by Spencer O'Neal

Little Image, made up of singer Jackson Simmons, bassist/synth player Brandon Walters, and drummer Troy Bruner, started their set out with their 2021 single “EGO.”

The song started their set off with a bang as the band came out in matching black suits, accompanied by flashing graphics upstage and strobing lights that made the show feel like it was taking place in an arena.


Photos by Spencer O'Neal

The band’s use of the synth added an extra dimension to their alt-rock, electronic tracks Songs “CLEAN” and “RUNAWAY” had me thinking that the band was cooling down the set due to their slower, quieter beginnings, but each caught me by surprise when it once again picked up the pace. “NEW LOVERS” followed these two, showcasing the more traditional heavy-hitting pop sound that the band is capable of.“MAKEUP,” finally slowed down the set, Simmons swapped out his electric guitar for an acoustic and Bruner switched from drums to keys. The band used interesting transitions between songs, like a snippet of Robin Williams’ famous “There’s Still Hope” interview remixed with the song “HOME.”

Whether it be the rotation of instruments, Simmons’ turning the stage into his own jungle, or the audio/visual elements playing across three upstage screens, there was always something that captured the audience.

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Photos by Spencer O'Neal

The best of these moments came when Bruner gave up his spot at the drum set to Simmons and carried two portable drums to the front row of the audience, instructing a few lucky fans to hold them up. What followed was about two minutes of the drummer going ham on the instruments while the audience watched in awe from directly below. Moments like these made the show, exhibiting the band’s passion for performing and the unique way in which they approached it.

The band had a tough task in figuring out how to effectively close a show that was so full of energy and spontaneity, but they executed it extremely well. Not long into “WORTH IT,” the set's final song, Simmons stood up on the barricade for a last time and instructed the crowd to “lose control of your body” as the song reached the beat drop.

What ensued was a full-fledged dance party, the audience, following Simmons's instructions, thrashed around as the lights strobed and the band tore up the stage. It was the perfect way to wrap up Little Image’s set.


Photos by Spencer O'Neal

All Photos by Spencer O'Neal (@spencerponeal)

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