Royal Blood w/ Welles
Showbox, Seattle, WA
If heavy, powerful drums and insanely catchy bass riffs are your thing, then Royal Blood is about to be your new favorite band. The UK duo popped up in 2014 with their debut self-titled album featuring 10 perfectly bluesy, alt-rock jams. Three years, an album, and a single later, these guys seriously have yet to make a boring song, leaving their sold out Showbox performance a night for the books.
Opening the night was Welles with raspy voices and long hair to match a grungy, lo-fi kind of sound perfect for the PNW.
As soon as Royal Blood entered the stage, hats and hoods quickly came off, hair let down, and everyone was ready to head-bang for the next hour as the duo absolutely killed it on stage. Though only two people, Ben Thatcher on drums and Mike Kerr on bass/vocals, they’ve developed a sound that’s full and complete, but minimalist enough not to feel exhausted or overdone.
Their sound is a great mix, reviving a harder side of rock music that recently has been left behind for more folk leanings. By adding in enough of an alternative or pop feel, their music is enjoyable even for those not into sounds quite as aggressive as most hard rock bands. Songs like “Hook, Line & Sinker” put this on display well with a pretty hardcore intro that’s quickly followed by a more contemporary, thinned out, catchy hook. The same dynamic shapes most of their songs as they switch between heavy bass or drum solos, and loud, sing-along choruses.
Royal Blood’s set never took a dip in energy. Each song more intense and fun than the last, the duo and their music had their fans dancing along all night. These guys have a serious powerhouse of a set and one that’s ready for an endless number of more albums and live shows that are sure to sell out.
Review by Lulu Dawson
Photos by Stephanie Dore