Despite a strong opening, Bombay Bicycle Club struggled to hold on to the electricity they had at the beginning of their set.

10/4/19 – Royale

On a cold Friday night at Royale, amidst blistering blue stage lights, thickly packed throngs of music lovers, and the stench of smoke and beer, Bombay Bicycle Club calmly strode onto the stage. It had been five years since they played in Boston and the Londoners had been missed while they were away: the crowd exploded into applause as the band kicked off their set with “Emergency Contraception Blues,” an instrumental track off of their freshman record, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose

Despite a strong opening couple of tracks that were packed with catchy guitar licks and soothing vocals from Jack Steadman, he struggled to carry the electricity he began with. He did a few occasional check-ins with the crowd, but the band didn’t interact with the audience and did not offer anything to add to the show to make it stand out. While the band’s live performance sounded crisp and energetic and their electric vibe encompassed the entirety of Royale, they failed to entice and work the crowd.

Bombay, despite their lack of charisma with the audience, powered through their set and gave it their all. They played tracks “Lights Out, Words Gone,” new track “Everything Else Has Gone Wrong,” and their latest, “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You).” The latter sent the crowd into an uproar. After having gone on hiatus, the band returned to the limelight with this track, packed with infectious hooks and solid drumming. This dreamy, wistful slow-burn hit was the highlight of the band’s set. You can tell they love playing it, with a look of satisfaction plastered on Steadman’s face as he sang.

 

As the night grew darker and the show began to end, Bombay ripped through “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep,” “Luna,” “Always Like This,” and an encore of “Carry Me.” The encore was fiery and relentless, with guitarist Jamie McColl shredding on his guitar as the stage lights furiously flickered between bright blues and blinding whites. Aesthetically, it was a powerful ending to a lackluster show. Bombay could have organized the setlist and overall theme and vibe of their performance much better in order to enthrall and include their audience. Despite this, Steadman and his bandmates cranked out an instrumentally and vocally strong set.

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