It was as if Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page challenged the men of Royal Blood to wield the hammer of the gods when he presented them with the BRIT Award for Best British Group earlier this year, because the duo was absolutely thunderous during their Coachella performance on Saturday.
Bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher were relentless at the festival’s Outdoor Theatre, beginning with an electric “Come on Over” and ending with the machine-gun firepower of “You Can Be So Cruel.”
In between, it was detonation after detonation, with Kerr reeling off killer riffs on his bass and Thatcher attacking his drum kit like it owed him money.
For “Come on Over,” the first notes called all fans within earshot to sprint towards the sound, making no apologies to bystanders they may have brushed with over-aggressive air-drumming.
It only got better from there. A few songs later, Kerr shouted out, “Come on Coachella!” midway through “Figure it Out” as Thatcher stood up menacingly, banging a cymbal like a general, just to make sure everyone knew who was boss.
The Royal Blood rocket continued to blast forward with stoner-rock anthems “Little Monster” and “Loose Change,” the latter of which saw Thatcher take it to the next level by actually standing atop his bass drum as Kerr vamped towards each corner of the stage.
That was when chants of the band’s name rose up and when the mosh pit started. It only took the first staccato snaps on Thatcher’s snare to switch on the blender of humanity in the middle of the field during “You Can Be So Cruel.” Hands shot up and bodies began to circle. And those who weren’t amid the whirlpool banged their heads in approval.
Coachella has posted this video of Royal Blood performing “Figure It Out” below.