TVD Live Shots: Royal Blood and Cleopatrick at the 9:30 Club, 5/19

The sold out 9:30 Club felt tropical last Thursday night as Royal Blood made a stop in Washington, DC on its Typhoons tour. Canadian rock duo Cleopatrick provided support.

Security provided water to those in attendance; the sold out club felt like a sauna. It hardly seemed to matter to the crowd, which collectively lost its mind over the English rock duo (vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher), touring to support its latest album, Typhoons, the first since 2017’s How Did We Get So Dark?. It wasn’t just a great gig, it was one of the very best I’ve seen in recent years.

Canadian rock duo Cleopatrick kicked off the night. In thirty minutes, they showed they are musical kin to Royal Blood, blasting the crowd with a steady stream of aggressive rock, which was infused with punk energy. While drummer Ian Fraser provided the rhythmic backbone for each song, Luke Gruntz played guitars with an intensity that set the tone for the rest of the night.  The already full club responded with an enthusiasm usually reserved for headliners.

Singer-bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher took the stage at 9PM sharp and kicked off their set with two songs from the new album, “Typhoons” and “Boilermaker” (with additional support from a keyboardist who sang backup). The set drew from all three Royal Blood albums, weaving the loud, sexy, metal-edged rock of their early tracks (which famously got the attention of Jimmy Page), such as “Loose Change” and “Out of the Black,” with the more danceable, but equally hot, new material. Wow, does it ever work—the crowd spent 90 minutes nearly bouncing off the walls.

Needing another Royal Blood fix, I elbowed my way into the sold out show at Baltimore Soundstage the next night. The energy there was even more explosive, with Ben Thatcher climbing into the frenzied crowd at one point and moshing breaking out even in the back of the club by the end of the show. What a great time.

As of this writing, there are only three dates left on the North American leg of the tour.  However, if you’re lucky enough to be in Europe this June and July, you can catch Royal Blood starting June 4 in Saint-Laurent-De-Cuves, France. Otherwise, they’ll be back in the U.S. for Lollapalooza.

CLEOPATRICK

ROYAL BLOOD SETLIST
Typhoons
Boilermaker
Lights Out
Come on Over
Trouble’s Coming
Hook, Line, & Sinker
Honeybrains
Little Monster
How Did We Get So Dark?
Blood Hands
Million and One
Limbo
Loose Change
Figure it Out

ENCORE
All We Have is Now
Ten Tonne Skeleton
Out of the Black

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