Royal Blood – Leeds Arena – 12/04/2022
Since the release of their first album in 2014, rock duo Royal Blood (8) have been thrown into a whirlwind of success with sell out shows, chart topping albums, and even a Brit awards in the process for best group. So, it’s no surprise to see them continuing their upward trajectory with their recent album and third UK no.1 album ‘Typhoons’ which was released almost a year ago now.
Due to Covid restrictions it’s taken a while for the Brighton Duo to take their hit album on the road and do what they do best by blowing us away with their huge live shows across the country. With the tour in full swing the Leeds show was almost upon us but a setback with frontman Mike Kerr catching Covid 19 meant the show had to be rearranged. But for a Tuesday night in Leeds most of the crowd were still able to make their way down to the arena even though it’s noticeable quieter than usual, and likely due to a quick turnaround to a Tuesday night instead of the original date on a lively Friday night.
But Royal Blood won’t take it to heart, and they know everyone that’s made the effort to come down to the rearranged show are going to get involved from the off so waste no time and dive straight into the new album title track ‘Typhoons’ which has the room bouncing instantly.
The stage set up with two risen platforms for the duo is surrounded with rounded screens and an overhead circular light rig which looks incredible, and it’s perfectly clear that even though it’s just the two of them, no size stage is going to eat up this band because their stage presence is huge. Their set shakes the arena as they dial the noise up to 10 for a set loaded with crowd pleasers and rock riffs worthy of mosh pits and crowd surfers throughout.
Even though the tour is in support of the new album ‘Typhoons’, the show is still packed with hits from all three albums including the likes of ‘Lights out’, ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ and ‘Little Monster’. The latter features a breakdown with a blistering drum solo from Ben Thatcher as tribute to the recent passing of legendary drummer Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, with a complimenting photograph of the two together towering over the stage.
In regard to the new album ‘Typhoons’, it’s great to finally catch some of our new Royal Blood favourites live for the first time. ‘Troubles Coming’, ‘Boilermaker’ and ‘Million and One’ all sound fantastic, and ‘Limbo’ provides one of the highlights of the set with its catchy chorus leading Leeds into a dancing frenzy. Even the recent brand new track from this year ‘Honetybrains’ is thrown into the mix with its attitude driven verse and pounding chorus shaking the room.
Both Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher work effortlessly together on stage with little errors and sound as tight as possible, showing their bond as a duo and their true talent whilst the fire through the seventeen-track set with confidence and ease.
‘Figure it out’ closes out the main section of the set with its provocative bassline and huge chorus, before the pair leave the stage to deafening applause. After a short break the shows slowed down temporarily as Mike Kerr takes to the piano to play the last of the new tracks and album closer ‘All We Have Is Now’, which presents the frontman’s vocals on full display as he sings along with the crowd who light up the arena with lights and lighters for a beautiful moment.
With Ben Thatcher back on his throne surrounded with his drum kit, Royal Blood close out the night in style with the blistering ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Out Of The Black’ which kicks off with the drummer heading down to the barrier for some high fives and thanking the Leeds crowd for turning it up on a Tuesday night, before making his way back up to join Mike Kerr to rattle the arena for one last time with their powerful rock.
It was the perfect way to close out the ‘Typhoons’ UK tour and those who were unable to make the rearranged date unfortunately really did miss out. However, we’re confident Royal Blood won’t be disappearing any time soon with their eyes set on concurring North America before returning around festival season. They’ll be back, and likely even better as they always seem to somehow successfully raise the bar.
Check out the full set of live photos from Leeds Arena here!
(PLEASE DO NOT CROP OR EDIT PHOTOS)
Photo Credit: © Danny Peart Photography 2022