After releasing a massively successful self-titled album in 2014, it had been nearly 2 years since Royal Blood last played New York, with appearances at Governors Ball and Citi Field (opening for the Foo Fighters). Currently touring in support of their follow-up album, How Did We Get So Dark, out on June 16th, the Brighton-based duo warmed up for their Sunday afternoon Governors Ball slot with a late set at Warsaw in Brooklyn Saturday night.
Saturday certainly felt as if it had been a long time coming. I was blown away when I last saw Royal Blood in 2015 and after playing their first record a countless number of times, I couldn’t wait to hear what these guys would come out with next. Then, as the room went dark and the thundering beat of “Where Are You Now?” pulsed above the sold-out crowd, the wait was finally over and it was as if they’d never left.
The first half of the show featured offered several more glimpses at their new material, with “Lights Out,” “I Only Lie When I Love You,” and “Hook Line & Sinker.” You would never guess that two guys could fill a room the way they do, but frontman/bass player Mark Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher definitely have a good thing going with their “less is more” approach – two instruments, strobe lights, and a big sound that makes the room feel as if it’s touching the upper end of the Richter scale.
The night’s set brought the same raw energy and extended jams that won crowds over in previous shows. Fans sang along with every word of favorites from Royal Blood’s first album, such as “Figure It Out,” “Loose Change,” and “Out of the Black.” At one point, Ben stood on top of the speakers peering out at the crowd as they roared back with applause.
Following up the kind of success Royal Blood had with their first album is often no easy task (especially when Jimmy Page gives his seal of approval). If Saturday night’s show was any indication, How Did We Get So Dark seems to pick up right where Royal Blood left off, with fresh evolutions of the winning formula they had the first time around.
Article: Nicole Shyti
Photos: Michael DiGiovanni