Two guys walk into a stadium. One’s carrying a bass guitar, the other a pair of drumsticks. This ain’t no joke with a punchline waiting in the wings, unless you consider the fact that two guys tucked away in the corner of the CitiField stadium stage can make as much bombastically awesome rock [BAR] happen while the sun’s still shining and the crowd’s restless as the five guys who will follow an hour later. And they did belly up to the BAR. This British duo who make up Royal Blood, bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, punched the air for a half-hour (give or take) with tunes from their latest eponymous release and “One Trick Pony,” which is a b-side from an actual vinyl release (sigh. oh how I love the old school).
The set was tight, fun and had people on their feet yelling and singing. Two British guys behind me were actually pumping their fists and chanting as if every song were a footie anthem. This activity, along with the copious amounts of beer they consumed, took a toll later when one of them collapsed in his seat and had to be taken out by security, but dammit, these guys were clearly here for the lads, and the lads delivered. Royal Blood are on the road opening for the Foo Fighters while sprinkling in a few solo shows along the way, and if the CitiField New York gig was any example, they’re tearing it up—managing to do the thing that is the best part of a rock show: Play as if the stage were small, the setting intimate and the kids there to see only them. And it worked. A royal good time, no thrones required.
Here’s the band in a live Glastonbury moment from 2014
Lauren has enjoyed the music bizness from the inside out while writing and editing for Rolling Stone, Spin and other national magazines, and doing video promotion for Elektra records. Currently, while still working in the NYC publishing industry, she's most happy being on the outside looking in on all things musical.