Charlotte, NC turned a little British last night when UK bands Turbowolf and Royal Blood stopped through on their How Did We Get So Dark? tour. The Thursday night show did not hinder people from showing up, as the free space people had at The Fillmore were the walkways that were enforced to be clear by security.
The eventful evening started promptly at 8:30 pm when openers Turbowolf took the stage. Turbowolf is a diverse band and fairly difficult to classify, but it seems to be a good mix of psychedelic, electronic, heavy, and punk rock. Better yet, don’t take my word for it and go check them out yourselves. Their stage presence was confident and they easily won the audience over by throwing out t-shirts throughout their set and enabling the crowd to skip work the next day because partying at concerts > work. The band plays songs including “Cheap Magic”, “American Mirrors”, “Solid Gold”, “A Rose for the Crows”, “Rabbit’s Foot”, “The Big Cut”, “Domino”, and “Let’s Die”. Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr joined the band for “Domino” dressed in a blonde wig, smeared red lipstick, and what looked like a giant trash bag—quite the alter ego. By the end of the set, the audience definitely knew the band Turbowolf.
A quick set change later and Royal Blood stepped out of the black, with just their bass and drums, and just started jamming. Pretty amazing what this band can do with just these two instruments and a few effects pedals—no need for guitars here! Kicking the show off with “How Did We Get So Dark?”, the band continued with songs including “Where Are You Now?”, “Lights Out”, “Come on Over”, “You Can Be So Cruel”, “I Only Lie When I Love You”, “Look Like You Know”, “Little Monster”, “Hook, Line & Sinker”, “Sleep”, “Hole in Your Heart”, “Loose Change” and “Figure It Out”. Hands were up, heads were banging, and even a few crowd surfers made their way across the sea of hands during the band’s set. Even though drummer, Ben Thatcher, was apparently sick as a dog, there was no way of knowing as the drumming was energetic and flawless. The duo’s interaction on stage was definitely one to witness and everyone could tell they were having a blast. The band left the stage for a brief intermission before coming back out for their encore. They asked if the audience had any questions and all I could hear was fans yelling for “Ten Tonne Skeleton”, which they ended up playing next. The audience was probably the most energetic for that song, and of course, closer “Out of the Black”, which ended with a major jam session featuring Kerr breaking out the blonde wig and putting on a pink bra as a belt.
This was my first time seeing Royal Blood and it definitely won’t be my last. They have a few more dates left on this tour before they go back and start writing their next album. Be sure to keep an eye out for more tour dates in the future and definitely make it a point to go see them if they are coming to a city near you!