The Backbooth / Orlando, FL • 2.5.17
by Christopher Long
More seductive and more alluring than a hot-n-sloppy Mick Jagger lip-lock with Carly Simon circa ’72, West Coast glam-core upstart Palaye Royale was the magical “golden ticket” tucked inside the 2016 Warped Tour “Wonka Bar.” And in 2017, the patchouli-scented, velvet-clad combo has returned to the road as victorious rock and roll vets – a cross-country excursion that included a Super Bowl Sunday performance at Downtown Orlando’s renowned and beloved shithole, The Backbooth.
Approximately 200 (predominately) female hipsters (and one Elvira look-alike) screamed with near-orgasmic abandon at 8:05 – the very instant the blasting sounds of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” came to an abrupt stop, the stage then went black, and the art class darlings seized the soirée.
A gorgeous, Greek-like incarnation of Ziggy Stardust, frontman Remington Leith commandeered the mic in a flash – leading his crew into a set-opening double-whammy of “Don’t Feel Quite Right” and “My Youth Generation.” Let the “misbehaving” begin! Seemingly residing spiritually somewhere between Pete Townshend circa ’66 and Keith Richards circa ’71, guitarist Sebastian Danzig once again appeared charming and personable, fashion-forward and sonically-gifted. Executing pressed snare rolls and tasty tom fills with Neal Smith-style precision and passion, twenty-year-old drummer Emerson Barrett proved to be the bravest soul in the house – walking barefoot from the dressing room to the stage… at The Backbooth.
Far more ferocious onstage than indicated by the confines of their acclaimed 2016 debut record, Boom Boom Room (Side A), Palaye Royale has evolved magnificently from a side-stage Warped Tour oddity, and into a world-class rock act – packing so many hopelessly addictive, sweat-soaked songs, and oozing so much shamelessly unbridled, super-hero vim, they barely seem human.
“You guys make Texas look like a little bitch,” Leith announced to the Florida flock with brash confidence as the band segued from a rollicking remake of the My Chemical Romance staple, “Teenagers” and into robust renditions of “Mr. Doctor Man” and “How Do You Do?”
Enhanced immeasurably by the additional performances offered by touring guitarist Danny Wagstaff and bassist Daniel Curcio, the high-octane, 8-song, 40-minute set felt all too short, as die-hards were left on their feet, bawling for more, while the final Telecaster squeals of “Get Higher” faded into the venue’s nicotine-drenched din.
And the chicks go wild!