Royale Review: Mates of State, Suckers and Yawn
Michelle & The City
Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2011 16:10
Who would have ever thought that right up the road from the Suffolk dorm buildings would lay a trendy night club concert venue that held some of the best concerts in indie, alternative, punk, electronic, hip-hop and pop?
Located at 279 Tremont Street, Royale has all this to offer and more. When moving to Boston, I could not wait to start exploring the Boston music scene. I love going to concerts and I will see anything ranging from a musical theater workshop, to a rap show, or a heavy metal mosh pit. When I saw that a majority of my favorite musicians would be playing at Royale, I was stoked. I could not wait for the first opportunity I would get to see a show there! The first show on my list was the Mates of State, Suckers and Yawn show on Monday, September 26th.
Upon my arrival to Royale, I did not know what to expect. How big would the venue be? Since I am short, will there be a place where my view isn't totally obstructed? How will the acts sound? What is the atmosphere like? When I walked through the tiny front entrance and up the stairs to the second floor ticket booth, I was immediately impressed. The lighting was dark and tinted blue, but not too dark so the stairs were easy to navigate. The staff was friendly and offered all their help to make purchasing tickets to the event easy, which set a good tone for the evening.
After getting my ticket scanned, I walked up another set of stairs which led me to the concert area. I felt as if I was in an old time vampire movie or Phantom of the Opera, big marble stairs, dark lighting, a big window and dome like ceilings; I loved it. Walking into the concert area was even more of a treat; in the center of the room was a huge circular bar that had an ancient feel to it, very out-of-the-movies gothic style décor, which made sense, because when Royale was built in 1918, it was originally intended to be an opera house.
The concert itself only added to the great atmosphere that was presented. I have been to my fair share of concert venues, but so far nothing seems to beat Royale. I am very picky about balance, especially the sound levels of instruments and vocals. The sound system used was remarkable, and the bands that played were fairly showcased due to the impeccable sound.
Yawn, a Chicago based band took the stage first with a funky electric vibe that could put anyone in a good mood; there songs were upbeat fun and interesting. Their song "YumYum" is what really sold me, I had never heard of them until this show, but now I am a huge fan. I had to buy their debut CD, Open Season, and it has been all I've been listening to in the past week. If you are an Animal Collective fan, they have similar styles, but Yawn is definitely a band to keep your eyes peeled for as they will be touring with the Kooks this winter. (Check them out on the web at Yawntheband.com.)
The second band out Suckers, for a lack of a better term sucked. I was bored I did not pay much attention to them, the detailing on the ceiling was better than hearing them for forty minutes.
At 9:30 it was time for the main event, Mates of State. Mates of State is a band that I went all through high school listening to. Making music since 1997, they just recently have released their seventh LP Mountaintops. Classified as an "indie-pop" duo, this husband and wife music team has a song for everyone. They opened their set with a crowd favorite and their first single off their CD Re-Arrange Us, "Get Better." The crowd did not sit still from this moment on. Everyone was dancing all over the place and getting so into the set they played. Personally I thought their set was flawless. They played the perfect amount of old songs, and the perfect amount of newer material. In the middle of their set they played three consecutive songs off their 3rd album Team Boo which was a treat for their loyal fans. Closing with their hit Palomino, the audience did not leave disappointed. They played a 19-song set and it was mind-blowing. The sound was perfect, and their vocals were impeccable. I was nervous to see a band that is so electronically-keyboard-based live, because bands like this with such powerful male and female duos tend to sound really crappy and tacky live. I couldn't have made a better choice to go to this show.
Royale as a venue enhanced my experience as well, and I will be back on October 8th and 9th for the Bayside, Saves the Day and I am the Avalanche and Transit shows. A more punk based concert, my experience shall be significantly different and I cannot wait. I recommend seeing a show at Royale, and if you aren't one who tends not to go the "show" route, Royale also doubles as a nightclub that hosts some sick dance parties, and features many popular djs and celebrities such as the Vinnie and J.Wow of Jersey Shore, DJ Steve Aoki.
For more info and a full event and concert list check out Royale on the web at RoyaleBoston.com