Opening the show were American post hardcore band At The Drive In, with these dates acting as the bands first full UK tour in around 15 years following the release of their fourth studio album Inter Alia.
Keeping crowd interaction to a minimum, the band blasted through a set of old and new tracks with lead vocalist Cedric Bixler bouncing around the stage. The band will return to the region on March 12 for their own headline show at the O2 Academy Birmingham.
With both their records going to number one in the UK album charts it’s no surprise Royal Blood have made the leap into arena size venues and I was interested to see how their show would translate to 15,000 fans.
Arguably finding their fame through people being amazed at how a two-piece can create such a sound, by the time that I left the arena last night the fact they were a two-piece no longer seemed relevant. W
hat did seem relevant however was the fact they write great big rock songs and perform them amazingly well.
Tracks such as Little Monster and Loose Change sounded massive, backed by a moving light and visual show that proved simple yet highly stylish and effective. The fact the band were joined by backing singers on tracks such as How Did We Get So Dark? hints towards a future when perhaps Royal Blood are no longer just Ben and Mike; however for now it more than does the job.
Mike has grown into a fantastic front man, capturing and engaging with the large audience whilst Ben’s drum playing is the backbone and drive behind their tracks.
Returning for an encore of Ten Tonne Skeleton and Figure It Out, the band were clearly triumphant in proving their worth in such a large room and even proving that they’re ready for bigger.
It can only be said that Royal Blood have nailed the live performance Hook, Line & Sinker.