Just three days after the splendid Queens of the Stone Age concert at the O2 in London, I was headed to see yet another of the great contemporary bands – Royal Blood. Now, I came across their music in a period of my life when I had hit rock bottom and did not know what to do next. I associate their music with one of the most fundamental realizations that I have had in my life, because it was their music that helped me realize it – that there are people who remain in your heart even though they are no longer around you, or contributing to your life in any inspirational way, they just are there, inside of your chest and that is a fact that cannot be denied; the sooner you accept that and learn to live with it, the sooner you would be able to move on.
I remember listening to their first and self-titled album on repeat for weeks. So, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that Royal Blood released their second album around the same time as Queens of the Stone Age did, so they toured around the same time and I was able to see both bands during the same week. Now, any talk about how they are just two guys and able to rock as hard as they do would be stale. Apart from the quality of their live performance, there is yet another aspect that makes them unique – they are persistently good, not only in what they sing about, but also in the quality of their music.
The first impression that the concert made was the astonishing stage lighting design. It really created a framework to their performance and supplemented what they had to say. The setlist would not have surprised any fan, but what stroke the most was how massive songs like ‘Figure it Out’ or ‘Hook, Line and Sinker’ sound live. Also, there is a sense of closeness between Mike and Ben that cannot be left unnoticed when one is part of their live show.
To me the concert was a therapy, past emotions struck me and new feelings replaced them. I let myself listen and let the emotions and feelings loose, I saw them moving around and disappear in the lights, just so they can be replaced by fresh ones. Royal Blood has always helped me move on and I used the opportunity to see them live to help me let go of the last bit of emotions that I have had since I hit that rock bottom and didn’t know what to do.
There are different kinds of bands, like Queens of the Stone Age, for example, who seem to me to use their music to tell the story of their lives, infused with the wisdom that they had come to acquire. And there are bands like Royal Blood who seem to me use music as a therapy, to be able to overcome their own confusion and madness, and thus, help people do so as well. In any case, it was a therapeutic experience to me and an enjoyable one for the band proved why they are one of the most promising and incredible contemporary musicians.