Royal Blood brought a powerhouse show to the sold out 9:30 Club on Wednesday night, tearing through the entirety of their debut album with precision and vivacious energy.
As one of the most hyped bands of 2015, seeing fans come in the from of fellow bands ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Foo Fighters, Royal Blood come with a reputation that precedes them. The duo, consisting of bassist/frontman Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, lived up to the expectations in Washington.
It only took the opening song, “Come On Over,” to warm up the packed crowd. By the time the two-piece rounded on their radio-fame track “Figure It Out,” a circle pit was revving up on the floor. While the audience was heavily made up of 20-something males, fans of all ages were rocking out to Royal Blood’s unique blend of hard rock sounds and catchy lyrics. The balcony wasn’t able to participate in the joshing, but that didn’t stop a few fans from leaning over the rail shouting out song requests (“Loose Change!”) and rocking out throwing up the sign of the horns.
The driving lead bass that makes Kerr sound more akin to an axe man than part of the rhythm section is what fueled Royal Blood’s hour long set, with Thatcher’s precision and drive on the drums bringing up the rest, and showing neither party to be lacking in skill. While the format of bass/drum duo is not unique to Royal Blood, their talent and energy sets them a head and shoulders above the rest. It is not unfeasible to imagine Royal Blood rising to the ranks of other duos (albeit drum/guitar duos) such as The White Stripes and The Black Keys.
Despite being a young band, only formed in 2013, Royal Blood already know how to work a crowd. “This one’s for the 40-something guy who’s in the toilet,” Kerr said before diving into “One Trick Pony.” “You’re going to be sorry you missed this, guy in the toilet, because things are about to get crazy.” The crowd ate up every moment, even Thatcher’s cliche hard rock show stage dive at the end of the show.
With the 9:30 Club show coming in between bookend slots at two of the nation’s biggest music fests – Governor’s Ball in NYC and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo – it can be predicted that headlining festivals just might be next on the bill for the Brighton, UK duo.