Getting a Transfusion With Royal Blood

By on June 15, 2018

Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

Royal Blood with Turbowolf at Jannus Live 06-12-18

It was a different kind of Royal Watch on Tuesday night when Saint Petersburg hosted Royal Blood with Turbowolf at Jannus Live.  It was also a night of first times as both Royal Blood and Turbowolf were making their debut performances in Saint Petersburg.

Mike Kerr-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

The night turned out to be a perfect one for an outside venue show.   It had just rained prior to gates opening, but the June humidity was bearable.  Jannus was packed when we arrived during Turbowolf’s set.  The crowd was mostly male dominated but the age range was pretty wide open as there were some kids with their parents at the rail. Thankfully Jannus Live had a couple of large fans in the concessions area to cool you down and they offered everything to drink from water to premium calls for reasonable prices.

Chris Georgiadis-Turbowolf (Photo-Travis Failey)

The energetic and highly entertaining Turbowolf performed an 8 song set that spanned their career that started in 2008 in Bristol, UK. Turbowolf consists of vocalist Chris Georgiadis, guitarist Andy Ghosh, and the supersonic back line of bassist, Lianna Lee Davies, and drummer, Blake Davies.

Chris Georgiadis, Blake Davies & Andy Ghosh-Turbowolf (Photo-Travis Failey)

Turbowolf’s sound blends a mix of varying rock styles with a twist of psychedelia and distortion. The result is a sound reminiscent of the Eagles of Death Metal mixed with the Arctic Monkeys without being pigeonholed.

Chris Georgiadis & Andy Ghosh-Turbowolf (Photo-Travis Failey)

Throughout Turbowolf’s set front man Chris Georgiadis traipsed around the stage with flair and grace, wearing a white suit with a large scarf with eyeholes over his face.  Geogiadis displayed his vocal range and crushed the keyboards on occasion, which added another layer to Turbowolf’s complex sound .  A couple songs that really stood out to me were “Rabbit’s Foot” from their 2015 release, Two Hands, and “Domino” from the recently released, The Free Life.  During “Domino,” Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr joined Georgiadis on vocals dressed in drag, David Bowie style.

Turbowolf with Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr (Photo-Travis Failey)

Royal Blood a is rock duo consisting of bass player and vocalist, Mike Kerr, and drummer, Ben Thatcher.  I’ve been waiting to see the band that Jimmy Page called “absolutely riveting” and that have collected various awards since Royal Blood released their four-track EP Out of the Black in March of 2014.

98 Rock’s “Big Rig” Ronnie Michaels addressed the crowd and introduced UK’s Royal Blood who took the stage to chants of their name from the anxious crowd. Royal Blood had a pretty basic stage setup with a drum kit, a sideways guitar stack and a partially hidden keyboard.  There was also a raised platform in the background where two beautiful dancers and backup singers shook what the Good Lord gave them in perfect unison to the music. The dancers were a welcome addition to the show that also had an impressive lighting rig that seemed to circle the square stage.

 

Mike Kerr-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

Mike Kerr & Ben Thatcher-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

What sets Royal Blood apart is the distinct sounds and tones that Mike Kerr creates with his bass guitar. There are many times that you think that he is shredding a standard six string but Kerr uses Fender Starcaster and Jaguar basses and Gretsch Electromatic bass guitars. There aren’t many bass players that can pull off what Kerr does, but comparing him sound-wise with Billy Sheehan and Cliff Burton would not be a stretch. I’m not talking technique or chops, just sound.

Mike Kerr-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

Let’s not forget about Ben Thatcher. He knows when to crush the skins like Bonham and when to mix in the right amount of jazz fills, stick tricks and crowd interactions. Thatcher gets the most out of his conservative Gretsch Renown Maple drumset and Zildjian cymbals.  Thatcher was quoted in Modern Drummer saying,“Dave Grohl has been my main influence throughout my drumming career, alongside my brother-in-law Stew Smith, who played drums in a Christian-rock band called Delirious.”

Ben Thatcher-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

Mike Kerr-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

 

Ben Thatcher-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

Royal Blood started their set and got the crowd heated up with the title track from their June 2017 release, “How Did We Get So Dark.”  Royal Blood continued with two more from thier new album, then hit the crowd at Jannus with one of their big singles to hit major rotation on SiriusXM’s Octane, “Come On Over.” Women in the crowd took to their men’s shoulders and a small pit opened up with zero casualties.

Mike Kerr-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

The rest of Royal Blood’s 15 song set was a combination of both of their albums, with Kerr also playing the keyboards during “Hope In Your Heart.” Thatcher did a short drum solo and later in the set talked to the crowd about Saint Petersburg’s crazy weather while he kicked back a couple pulls from a bottle of Patron.

Ben Thatcher-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

As the night began to conclude, Royal Blood focused on a trifecta of material from 2014 with “Figure It Out” “Two Tonne Skeleton” and concluded their set with “Out of The Black.” The last song in the finale got a huge response from the crowd as it was the song that put Royal Blood on the map internationally and here in the United States.

Mike Kerr-Royal Blood (Photo-Travis Failey)

Royal Blood is an anomaly.  Two musicians who can fill up a stage and an arena without a bunch of bells and whistles while also not relying on the standard rock formula that is so prevalent these days.  Royal Blood has released 3 singles and with the new album debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, they are riding a huge wave of momentum. Can they sustain it? From the looks of things in Saint Petersburg, in a land far from their home in West Sussex, Royal Blood’s seemed to Figure It Out.

For additional tour dates and info: http://royalbloodband.com/

Royal Blood Setlist:

1.How Did We get So Dark

2.Where Are You Now

3.Lights Out

4.Come On Over

5.You Can Be So Cruel

6.I Only Lie When I Love You

7.Look Like You Know

8.Little Monster

9.Hook, Line & Sinker

10.Sleep

11.Hole In Your Heart

12.Loose Change

13.Figure It Out

14.Ten Tonne Skeleton

15.Out Of The Black

 

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