Royal Blood – Metro, Chicago 3rd June 2015 Concert Review

kaplan-cos-royal-blood-metro-9[1]If you have never heard of Royal Blood, where the hell have you been this last 12 to 18 months? But don’t worry, if you haven’t heard of them now, you will have soon, as the duo from a small coastal town in the south of England look to take the world by storm in just the way they conquered the UK in 2014.

Their Mercury nominated eponymous album went straight to the top of the charts on its release in the summer of 2014, and subsequently became the fastest selling debut rock album since Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds release in 2011.

It is their live shows however that have catapulted the two-piece from the pack, and firmly into the public and media spotlight. The first thing you notice when you see them live isn’t the fact that they make an inordinate amount of noise for a two piece. It’s that they make all this noise, all these thumping riffs, those walls of noise with simply a drum kit and a bass guitar.

There have been literally thousands of column inches filled with how they do it, but to be honest, that is really of little consequence. The important thing is that they do it, and they do it live, and that’s all there really is to it.  It needs to be seen – and heard – to be believed.

They have toured extensively, supporting the Foo Fighters around the US, but for the majority of the thousand or so crammed into the Metro on this warm summer Chicago night, it was the first time they’d set eyes and ears on the bearded couple, and the air of expectation was palpable. This is what gigs should be like, that excitement that you just might be about to witness something special, in a venue that if things carry on as they are will be woefully small, in only a matter of months.

The hour long set flew by in a sweat and beer soaked, head nodding, arm waving frenzy.

Within a couple of bars, they – especially bassist and singer Mike Kerr – had the mainly male crown in the palm of his hands. “I used to come here as a kid. This place means a lot to me. This puts the cherry on top of the tour.” Kerr told them, starring at his surroundings as if he’d just woken up from a dream to find that he hadn’t been asleep after all. His partner in crime, drummer Ben Thatcher even sported a Joakim Noah jersey and a Chicago Bulls hat. These guys know what they’re doing.

The hour long set flew by in a sweat and beer soaked, head nodding, arm waving frenzy. It was difficult to see who was enjoying it more, the two on stage, or the multitudes below, and when Thatcher threw himself off stage into the sea of waiting arms during set closer “Out of the Black”, it didn’t even look clichéd. Just the perfect end to a perfect night of raw and unadulterated rock.

2014 and 2015 have been massive years for Royal Blood, but 2016 could well prove to be their most important. They have to move on, take the next step up, from these very impressive foundations they’ve carved out for themselves. All indications are that they are more than ready for the challenge.


Set list:

  1. Come On Over
  2. You Can Be So Cruel
  3. Figure It Out
  4. Better Strangers
  5. Little Monster
  6. Blood Hands
  7. One Trick Pony
  8. Careless
  9. Ten Tonne Skeleton
  10. Loose Change
  11. Out of the Black

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