Royal Blood

Royal Blood joined The Beach Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kendrick Lamar and others to thrill Michigan crowds over the summer

by michael bergamo

The night was here. The night that I’d been waiting in anticipation for three years ever since my brother had shown me the British rock-duo, Royal Blood’s self-titled album.

The album that made me believe that rock wasn’t dead. My friend and I arrived at 6 p.m., to a sold out show at St. Andrews Music Hall in Detroit. I and my confidant stood in the gigantic line, got our tickets ripped, successfully passed security and got into the venue around seven.

As this was an all-standing event, we quickly made our way closest to the stage as possible. We waited for about an hour, through soundchecks and whatnot. At about 8 p.m., the opening band, The Shelters, came out and performed their set. They were pretty good I must admit. After the Californian band played their hearts out for a good hour or so, another setup and soundcheck was being performed.

Waiting for Royal Blood seemed like multiple lifetimes were passing. Imagine this, your beloved mother is making your favorite meal for dinner, whether it be pizza, spaghetti, tacos, or whatever your preference. This is all being made from scratch because everyone knows a meal made by your ma, and from scratch, is always amazing. This meal takes four days to properly cook, and you cannot eat anything while waiting. You’re starving and restless. When day four arrives, however, and you take a bite, you feel something. Something in your heart, something in your soul. You realize this is the best meal you’ve ever had.

The crowd, including myself, were pretty restless. So I started a chant: “ROY-AL BLOOD, ROY-AL BLOOD” as loud as I possibly could. My friend joined me, and soon enough the entire crowd of 800 people joined in.

When Mike Kerr (vocals and bass) and Ben Thatcher (drums) finally came onto the stage (what seemed like decades later), the crowd went absolutely insane. They started off with the single “Where Are You Now?” they had written for the HBO show Vinyl.

I immediately started jumping to the beat, along with everyone else. I had that feeling in my heart, in my soul. The meal that took four days to cook, day four was here, and it was the best meal I’ve ever had.

At the beginning of the set, a mosh pit appeared, and, of course, I jumped right in the middle. I guess I was a pretty good target because somebody threw their full beer and it nailed me dead center in the chest.

You couldn’t breathe in there; it was so hot and everyone was so sweaty. You would choke on the air, literally. Halfway through the set, I noticed two men picking volunteers up and tossing them into the crowd. This is known as crowd-surfing. And, of course, yours truly went up to these majestic men, and crowd-surfed…twice. Yeah, I got fingers in unwanted places, but it was an amazing experience nonetheless.

The last song of the night was “Out of The Black.” I have never moshed so hard in my life. The energy was that of a lightning bolt, everyone’s voices were shot from screaming so much, and everybody had the biggest smile their faces. It was quite a sight.

About 20 of us gathered in a tightly-knit circle. We got low and right before the beat dropped we all collectively jumped into the air. When it did drop, we turned into primal beasts, shoving, pushing, sliding, and skidding on all of the spilled beer; people were literally flying. I’ve never covered my face like that before.

After the song ended, we all called for an encore; sadly, we did not receive one. We walked out to the car filled with more joy than ever before. We confirmed this was one of the best night of our lives.

The next morning my body hurt, badly. Apparently, two hours of screaming, jumping, and moshing aren’t good for your body. My back hurt especially though. I pulled off and looked in the mirror. There was a softball-sized bruised dead center on my back. Somebody straight up punched me in the back.

Despite being deaf, my body feeling like someone was mildly hitting me with a shovel, and just being gross from the night before, it was amazing. For the $90 price tag, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.