Written and Photographed by Liv Foltiny
At roughly 5 pm last Saturday (9/24), I arrived at the TLA after driving back from Rhode Island earlier. Between the excitement from the night before (Thank you, Renegade Wrestling Alliance!), the energy drink I had that morning, and the fact that I was going to be seeing another of my favorite bands (Palaye Royale), I was energized and ready for the show! But first – the meet and greet and Q&A!
Back in June, when Palaye Royale announced their Fever Dream tour dates, I bought a GA ticket and VIP meet and greet package because I wanted to go to the show regardless of whether I had the opportunity to photograph it. Luckily for me, I was.
During the meet and greet, I was hugged by Sebastian (Danzig), Remington (Leith), and Emerson (Barrett) as soon as I walked up. They were sweet and accepted one of my business cards when I told them I would be photographing the show. We talked for a few minutes, and, after learning I’m from Burlington, Emerson exclaimed, “like the coat factory!” and told me that he always wanted to go into one of the stores and buy a “cool jacket.”
After talking and having some photos taken with them, I headed to where the other fans were for the Q&A, which was informative and, at one point, pretty funny. We learned which track off of Fever Dream, is Sebastian’s favorite (the fourth track – if I remember correctly), and we got to see some sibling humor emerge when Emerson jokingly called Sebastian a “shit head.”
All in all, the meet and greet and Q&A set the foundation for what would be a great night!
Standing in the photo pit before the stage, the other two photographers and I waited for the house lights to dim. Before we knew it, Starbenders walked out onto the stage and greeted the packed house in the TLA. Knowing nothing about them (I’m behind on many things), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Still, seeing Kimi Shelter (who reminded me a little of Joan Jett) and Emily Moon (shirtless with “Fuk” taped across her chest), I was interested — they had a punk rock vibe to them.
Bathed in vibrant, colorful lights, Starbenders grabbed the crowd’s attention and performed several songs, including “Holy Mother” and “Cover Me.” Their energy and interaction with the crowd prepared everyone for the headliner: Palaye Royale.
With the lights low, we heard church-like music, followed by a voice stating that the “ceremony was about to begin.” Shortly after, the band’s name lit up on the stage, and they came out, energized and ready to perform.
Wasting no time, Palaye Royale went into “Nightmares” to get things started. Constantly moving and taking turns on the stage platforms, each band member (except for Emerson – until later) was front and center in the spotlight. They didn’t limit themselves to just the stage, either. Between Sebastian running around in what was the photo pit and Remington running through the crowd and (later)crowd surfing, their stage presence extended throughout the entire venue, inciting plenty of dancing, jumping, and headbanging.
This energy lasted throughout their entire performance, including songs from Boom Boom Room(Sides A and B), The Bastards, and their upcoming Fever Dream album. “Punching Bag” was one of the songs that stood out that night. Performed live, Remington’s screams during that song were raw and, when paired with him hitting himself while singing, “Go ahead and slap me if it makes you happy,” added to it. “Lonely,” the final song of the night, had the same unfiltered screams at times and (like all of the songs before it) involved the crowd singing along until the end.
Before leaving, the band thanked everyone for being there, and Remington, on the mic, shouted, “I fucking love you!” This feeling proved to be true the entire night. From the hugs and smiles during the meet and greets to tossing water bottles to fans and occasionally stopping to make sure certain fans got medical attention, it was evident that Palaye Royale’s fans mean the world to them. If you follow the guys’ on social media, you know this tour hasn’t been a walk in the park. They have had so much shit thrown at them — several buses breaking down and having their tour manager walk out on them — but they continue to persevere, show up, and give their fans special memories they’ll keep. In doing so, they embody some of their most-recent lyrics: “Don’t let nobody break you down/Even if they wanna make your light go out/ We live, we die the Lifeless Stars/ Shining in the dark.”
Fever Dream comes out on October 28th. Be sure to check it out!
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