7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show
All ages welcome
$25 advance, $28 day of show
Presented By: Mike Thrasher presents
Among a burgeoning electronic dance music scene, rock bands really have to go the extra mile to be heard in Stockholm, Sweden. The indie alternative group The Royal Concept did just that and more. DJs may have owned the night in Sweden, but the group managed to be heard by supersizing the experience for the audience. "We'd do a small acoustic set immediately after the show," explains drummer Frans Povel. "We never want to get off stage, and the fans see more of what we do." How does one gain entry into these intimate gigs? Povel answers, "Sometimes, it's based on how much you scream."
Due out this summer, The Royal Concept's self-titled debut EP will certainly warrant similar screams of adoration. The group joyfully melds an array of diverse influences such as Simon & Garfunkel, Daft Punk, and The Strokes. Although they've played only a handful shows in their year of existence, The Royal Concept has amassed thunderous word of mouth from those lucky enough to catch them live. "Our main goal," declares frontman David Larson, "has been to make people dance more than when a DJ spins records." While the DJs were running the clubs, says bassist Magnus Robert, "We played student parties that were insane." The smitten crowd usually wouldn't let them leave, so the band just hung out and continued the party.
Arms-reach access to them is becoming a thing of the past. By the time the group played last summer's Peace & Love festival in Sweden, their following had immensely grown. "We thought 50 people would come," says Larson. More than 1,000 people turned up. "They were singing our songs!" That appearance prompted Swedish radio to pick up their first single the swelling "D-D-Dance," which became a national hit.
Half a year later, blogs globally would also pass around "D-D-Dance," propelling it to No. 2 on Hype Machine. Soon after, their second single, "Gimme Twice," hit No. 3 on Hype Machine, while becoming the No. 1 most-popular track on We Are Hunted. (Explains guitarist Filip Bekic: "We made like 20 versions of that one.")
With the buzz circulating, Lava Records founder and C.E.O. Jason Flom was transfixed by the band's presence and sound from the second he first saw them. "You can't really put it into words," he affirms. "There's an intangible magic to this band. A&R usually isn't this easy!"
In a previous iteration during their teen years, The Royal Concept was an indie-folk band named Made in a Sofa-named after Larson's mom's remark that he and buddy Bekic wrote all their music bumming around on her couch. Classmates in a performing-arts school, the duo decided to rattle their jazz-music education by recruiting local friends Robert and Povel-the latter, a touring musician for big Swedish acts such as Robyn-to bring to life more energetic material. Preserving the energy of their live shows, their recording method is fast and furious-most of their songs taking a couple of days to complete. "That's when the songs became fun and important to us," notes Larson, who writes the melodies. (Bekic pens the lyrics, and Povel produces.) "That's when we became good."
That's also when they became authentic. "Early on, it just seemed to be a bit lame-trying to be poets," says Bekic. "So now we write about girls and relationships. Our lives, basically." Adds David: "Now that we're in New York for the first time, I will definitely write some songs about this."