Royal Blood Rocks Warehouse Live

Photo of Royal Blood

Written by Lauriston Brewster

 Opener: Meg Myers

Out walked a cute, petite girl in black boots, a  guy with a slide guitar, and a cellist. “Yeah, we’re in for a good show…”

As much as I’d like to, it would be way too easy to compare the lead singer’s voice to that of Hayley Williams or Kristen May. Sure, they’re all female vocal dynamos, they’re all screamers and they’re all brimming with angst. But unlike Williams and May, there’s actually something a little…threatening about this petite gal from Tennessee, which puts her in a league of undefined music territory.

Photo of Meg Myers
Photography by: Peter Cortez

Don’t get me wrong. I loved Meg Myers.  She had an explosive and kinetic presence tucked inside of that small, slender frame of hers. But then again–as aforementioned– there was still something inherently sinister in her songs that I still can’t put my finger on.

Take her EP “Desire”, as an example. This song seems to be an indirect response to NIN’s (in)famous “F*ck You Like an Animal”.  But word of advice to Mr. Reznor: Meg Myers will eat you. Between her belting out verses like, “Baby, I wanna f*ck you, I wanna feel you in my bones…I’m gonna tear into your soul” and her chorus dirge of  “How do you want me?!” there was a special hidden layer of alluring vulgarity that was both enticingly decadent  and yet a little bit alarming (but in a good way).

And her songs “Go” and “Heart Heart Head” are good testaments to Meg’s vocal range: she switches from a soft, melodious voice with a delicate vibrato to outright death-howling between chorus and verses. And it’s absolutely amazing to watch…

Especially during her performance of “Heart Heart Head”, when Meg got so “into the moment” that it looked like she was going to have a nervous breakdown on stage towards the end of the song. As if she had reached an emotional boiling point, she crumpled to her knees and started screeching in angst and the crowd went nuts.

Main Act: Royal Blood

These guys played a packed house last night at Warehouse Live.  They have been compared to a lot of other dudes before them: Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, and even Nirvana.

Yes. Absolutely these two rockers from Wales–who actually look more like they drive semi-trailers in Boston– are expertly pulling cues from these bands. But it’s something wonderful and refreshingly rare to see nascent musicians take cues from their predecessors but instead of becoming diluted carbon copies, they become something entirely different. And awesome.

In an age of electronica, synth-laden pop and (*shudders) auto-tune, Royal Blood stands in proud defiance. Reaching deep down into the murky depths of Grunge and Blues, Royal Blood has found a unique harmony of thrash drumming, rhythmic distorted (bass) guitar and lyrics dripping with anguish and unreeling potency.

Picture of Royal Blood

Sure these guys have a minimalist set up (Just a drum kit, a modified bass guitar and a boatload of pedals), But Thatcher and Kerr completely destroy any percieved sense of vulnerability with their eardrum-shattering harmony. To call them a dynamic duo would be an understatement.

Kerr’s heavy crooning  is a punishing  mixed cocktail, with just a dash of Josh Homme, a pinch of Matt Bellamy and a spritz of Jack White. And Thatcher’s drum kit should really consider getting a restraining order against him: he beats that thing like it owes him money.

With Kerr’s yowling and Thatcher’s beast-mode level of drumming, these guys play like fully establish Rock Gods. So It’s almost unfathomable that they’ve only been around for a little bit over a year.

One of the highlights of the show is when Thatcher decided to take the opportunity to crowd surf a bit. When he finally made his back to the stage, Kerr played a riff on his guitar. Thatcher hastily got back to his kit and the two of them played a rousing, bone-pulverizing flourish of “Out of the Black”, their debut single.

Kerr told the crowd that if “concerts were first dates, Houston would be looking pretty sexy right now!” And we have no shame in admitting that we really hope Royal Blood takes us out on a second date.

 

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