When Royal Blood emerged onto the stage at the Wiltern last night after a failed school band cover of “2001 Space Odyssey”, the audience immediately knew they were in for a noisy night of true rock prowess. Touring in support of their sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark? the British duo opened the night with “Where Are You Now” from the new record which was released this June. Fans in the pit were immediately frenzied as Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher pushed through one full-blooded and heavy-bodied track after another.
While it is just the two of them, Royal Blood has no problem creating an enormous wall of sound packed with hulky riffs from Kerr’s distorted bass and a ruthless but seemingly effortless percussive assault from Thatcher. The bulk of the middle of their 13-song set was new material, which most of the audience seemed to already have memorized and chanted back with vehemence especially the cowbell-punctuated “I Only Lie When I Love you” and the melodic “Hook Line & Sinker”. Thatcher occasionally stood at his throne to leer over the pit and take a swig of straight tequila. When he left his pedestal, he came to the edge asking the audience “What is cooler than being cool?” to which everyone replied “Ice cold!” Both of them exited the stage a couple times as a quick break but not quite long enough to be considered an encore – which they apparently never do.
Their last 4 songs were the meatiest rackets from their debut album – all sounding like monstrous closers. They ended the night with the title track from their first album “Out of the Black” in the middle of which Thatcher walked out into the audience and stood in the hands of the main floor only to be met by a crowd surfer. He ran back to his drums to finish the song and when Royal Blood finally left their mob of sweaty arms, the theme tune to British sitcom Faulty Towers played overhead, reminding us that Royal Blood, however imperial they may become, will never take themselves too seriously.
Shot for GET SOME MAGAZINE