By Daniel Pagan, New York City Correspondent
Venue: The Studio at Webster Hall, New York City-November 10, 2015
Swedish meatballs might forever be embedded into our American consciousness as Sweden’s premier export (you can blame Ikea for that) but The Royal Concept made a compelling case for itself and Sweden’s ever-evolving indie rock scene this past Tuesday night in New York City.
Lead singer David Larson and cohorts delivered a set full of tasty feel-good songs to an audience ravenous for good indie music and the band utterly killed it in their lone stop in Gotham this tour.
The boys opened the show with the infectious “Goldrushed” off their Royal EP, followed with the viral hit single “Dddance”, and finished their initial salvo with the funky “Fashion” from their new Smile EP. The band’s tight rhythm section, charming synth-pop style, and crafty guitar work, somewhat reminiscent of The Strokes, had everybody shaking their behinds from the get-go. The catchy choruses and soaring vocals had the crowd humming along all night long –even if the alcohol and cannabis often left them butchering the lyrics.
The Royal Concept’s music is unmistakably infectious and on-stage they looked like a band that is indeed having a cornucopia of fun playing it –which makes the experience of seeing them live all the more entertaining. Larson’s high energy stage theatrics remained in full-swing throughout and the band showed no signs of wear and tear from touring the globe in support of their Smile EP. “It seems the Studio at Webster Hall is the place to be on a Tuesday night in New York City,” smugly remarked Larson, early in the proceedings, with the crowd roaring in approval.
Among many of the night’s highlights were the poignant rendition of the Live Fast, Die Young love anthem “Shut the World”, the frenetic delivery of the catchy “Gimme Twice”, the experimental arrangements and chants in “Smile”, and the 80’s dance-pop-rock tunes “Fashion” and World on Fire” turning the Studio into a bona fide discotheque.
The band waved good bye after playing “On Our Way” and the crowd vociferously asked for “One more song!” The boys came back shaking hands, taking vows, and affectionately thanking the audience for their support. Then, Larson took his mike-stand and pointed it at the crowd. An elated fan quickly took the microphone and requested “Girls Girls Girls” from the band’s Goldrushed album, which has yet to see release in the States, prompting Larson to hilariously ask “ Wait…has that song even been released in the States?” to which a crowd member responded by yelling at the top of his lungs “PIRATES!” and the whole crowd laughed hysterically. It was the type of moment that epitomized the show with the crowd’s lively antics matching the band’s high energy efforts on stage.
The band will continue touring the States before returning to Sweden next month. Most of the upcoming American dates will also feature Tribe Society and Parade of Lights opening the shows. Both bands made this bill a steal for the low ticket price. Tribe Society was the first act to take the stage and had everybody head-banging with their anachronistic blend of music genres which ranged from hip hop to grunge. The band even has a flute player for Christ’s sake! Parade of Lights co-headlined the event and enthralled the audience with their elegant and dare I say uplifting Electronic-Pop-Rock. Music streaming services such as Spotify might be the most popular ways for music fans to come across new bands but nothing beats discovering a band in a live setting. I assure you, even if you never heard of any of these guys, if you enjoy your rock music with synths and electronic beats, this is the “sleeper hit” tour of the Fall for you.
Be sure to check them out and enjoy a truly delightful Swedish export in The Royal Concept. Definitely, more satisfying that a trip to Ikea will ever be.
The Royal Concept
The Royal Concept – Gimme Twice
The Royal Concept “On Our Way”
Tribe Society and Parade of Lights
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