Live Report: Palaye Royale Become The Toast Of Paris

The Las Vegas group lay on an art-rock 'n' roll extravaganza...

Stepping into Paris’ Cabaret Sauvage is like a fever dream; from the stained glass windows, to the rich red drapings, the circular room immediately transports you into Palaye Royale’s carnivalesque world. As bodies start to bustle into the tent-like venue, the air is electric – eyeliner-smeared faces rush in, grinning, as fishnet-adorned fingers itch to cling onto the barrier. Despite fans having queued round the block all day, the wait has only made the excitement grow – Las Vegas’ Palaye Royale have the room under a spell, and everyone is desperate to immerse themselves in the art rock and roll extravaganza that is to come.

Starbenders open up the night in a blaze of classic glam rock magic. The absolute vision of 80s rockstars, the quartet command the stage with confident, manes of hair voluminous and wild as they churn out riff after riff. Alt-rockers Yonaka follow on gorgeously, Theresa Jarvis’ sharp-tongued attitude and glorious vocals a total treat. The quartet’s punchy singalongs easily charm the room, warming the crowd up brilliantly. 

The arrival of Palaye Royale is, of course, doused in theatricality. A hazy, hypnotic intro takes hold of the room, and the air stills – “Welcome to the Fever Dream…” – all before bursting back into motion with opener ‘Nightmares’. Ablaze with movement, a whirlwind of pent up excitement rouses the crowd, fans desperate let loose and screech along to their favourite postmodern rockstars.

As the evening progresses, the crowd make it their mission to prove just how loud they can be. From the giddy groove of ‘No Love in LA’, a buoyant pop-rock anthem, to the heart-on-sleeve rawness of ‘Broken’, fans croon along eagerly. ‘Fucking With My Head’ is a particular stand-out, the eager, rampant bouncing of the crowd shaking the floor beneath your feet – and, onstage, the band are lapping up every second. Palaye Royle know that their supporters have every word stitched into their souls, and they’re constantly pushing for more, urging fans to sing that little bit louder, dance that little bit harder.

Palaye Royale’s star quality, however, is how fine-tuned their performance truly is. The trio of brothers embody a faultless theatricality, somehow transforming even the scrappiest of behaviours into something elegant and precise. While the band visually and sonically fit the label of ‘rockstar’, there’s an ever-present sense of intention, an awareness of the overall performance; it doesn’t matter if Remington Leith clambers onto the ceiling of the venue, or surfs over the crowd in a rubber dingy, there’s an ability to resist temptation, switching tone accordingly to provide fans with exactly what they came to experience. Members are able to toe the line of chaos, all before shifting into a totally different persona for a piano break; every action is for the sake of the art, the performance reigning supreme above all else. It’s a dose of ‘rockstar’ chaos with a little more intention and far less ego – in many ways, it’s more like theatre than a rock show.

As the night draws to a close, the final hurrah comes in the form of ‘Fever Dream’. It’s a fitting way to close off the evening, a triumphant epic of a track. It’s exemplary Palaye Royale, combining all that they are and all that they desire to become – it strives for grandeur, rammed with mystique and a perfect dose of woozy escapism. As the glitzy rockstars give it all they’ve got, there’s one thing that is certain – Palaye Royale know how to put one on hell of a show.

Words: Emily Swingle
Photography: Mac Praed

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