by Patrick Fuller ’21
Temperatures remain close to freezing but the date screams spring. With the first weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival behind us, we search for similar experiences closer to home. While the weather makes outdoor music-watching uncomfortable, if not impossible, the city of Boston hosts a wide variety of legendary indoor venues to fill the gap.
Royale Night Club on Tremont Street holds a capacity between the intimate Paradise Rock Club and the larger House of Blues. According to boston.com, the New York-based live music company, The Bowery Presents, signed a deal with Royale in 2010 to put on 100 shows a year at the venue.
Royale co-owner Dave Ralph told a local Boston music blog that he planned on supporting many up-and-coming acts over the next couple of years. For instance, over the course of the proceeding months, Royale plans to host Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Marian Hill, Shakey Graves, and Bishop Briggs, among others.
On Saturday, April 14, Rainbow Kitten Surprise took the stage at Royale backed by bluegrass band Caamp. Mailing from Boone, North Carolina, the five-piece band recently eleased the album How To: Friend, Love, Freefall which sets “dizzying rush of words… to a thrillingly unpredictable sound that transcends all genre convention, endlessly changing form to accommodate their constant shifts in mood and spirit.”
The album, produced by Grammy Award-winner Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, the Head and the Heart) and recorded at Neon Cross Studio, is the band’s debut release for Elektra Records. The band mostly focuses on vocals. Lead singer Sam Melo uniquely blends the mellowness of vintage folk with the flavor of his hip-hop including, Schoolboy Q and Frank Ocean.
These two sounds clashed under an array of colored lights as bassist Charlie Holt covered harmonies with long hair. All five members shook their way through the fire-and-brimstone “Fever Pitch,” while the two guitarists joined forces with Melo for first-album classics like “American Shoes,” “Seven,” “Cold Love,” “First Class,” and “Cocaine Jesus.”
Quickly, the audience realized that this performance was more than just another check off the list of tour stops. Although it was only the band’s third time playing in Boston, it was also the band’s third time selling out in Boston. Everyone’s financial support was paid back in full with passion and energy.
This all-out effort was no more evident than in the final song of the night, a hardcore rendition of “Run,” the band’s first song from their self-titled first album. By the end of the concert the crowd was left in a state of shock, by the bass, the red strobe lights, and the vocals.
Hopefully, with the turn of the seasons and the ensuing turn of the weather, we all can come to experience that post-concert depression. You certainly do not need to go to Indio, California, to experience the newest music and live concert season to the fullest.