Live Review: Palaye Royale’s North American Tour Finale Was All But a ‘Fever Dream’

Palaye Royale’s Remington Leith © Steven Rose
Palaye Royale’s Remington Leith © Steven Rose
Mesmerizing, luxurious, and fiery as ever, art-rock trio Palaye Royale ended the North American leg of their ‘Fever Dream’ tour with a cathartic performance at the Hollywood Palladium.
Stream: ‘Fever Dream’ – Palaye Royale

Put rock ‘n’ roll, classical training, and avant-garde experimentation in a box and tie it all together with a ribbon of explosive stage presence laced with artistic flair, and you’ll get the brotherly glam-rock trio of Palaye Royale. Hitting Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, November 6th, the Las Vegas natives blasted bombastic energy from the top of the stage all toward the thousands in the crowd that night.

Having just debuted their newest album, Fever Dream, less than a week and a half prior, the LA concert served as the first post-album release showcase of their new tracks in front of a live audience. To say that the brothers put on a real show would be an understatement, and to say that they made it look easy would be an even bigger one.

Fever Dream - Palaye Royale
Fever Dream – Palaye Royale

Hollywood Boulevard was lined with fans bustling with bright-eyed anticipation of the 7 PM show. With many even arriving as early as 11 AM, Palaye’s die-hard fanbase proved almost as passionate and extravagant as the band themselves; donned in asymmetric tartan, steampunk gear, black and white pinstripes, and heavy eyeliner, the Soldiers of the Royal Council poured into the venue with hearts and fists pumping.

From ’80s glam-punk labelmates Starbenders to lo-fi pop-punk carolesdaughter, emo-pop phem, and alternative hip-hop MOD SUN, the roster of openers was diverse in every sense of the way. While each artist differed in sound, energy, and aesthetic, they all shared the same heartfelt gratitude and respect for the night’s headliners as friends and colleagues. As the lights dimmed to a subtle red glow and fog filled the stage, vocalist Remington Leith, guitarist Sebastian Danzig, and drummer Emerson Barrett collectively commenced a night of power and vibrance from start to finish.

Remington Leith © Heather Koepp
Remington Leith © Heather Koepp

Entering in a black pleated skirt, chain-strung harness, and leather gloves, Leith kicked off the night with aggressive and melodramatic “Nightmares” off the trio’s 2020 record, The Bastards. With energy rapidly rising in line with the band’s arrival, spirits only rose higher as Palaye instantly transitioned into crowd classic, “You’ll Be Fine.”

It’s reasonable to say that the trio and their touring members have gotten their fair share of setbacks and adversities as the Fever Dream tour progressed throughout the months. Three broken-down buses, a trailer, two U-Hauls, countless flights, trains, and Ubers later, it was relieving that the closest thing to cataclysmic for the LA date was the misspelling of “Palaye Royale” in front of the venue.

In this case, the third song, “No Love In LA,” didn’t apply to the audience with the amount of unbridled love and support uplifting the band that night. Of course, Los Angeles as a whole most definitely faced a few blows and punches with the release of the song, but that didn’t stop the crowd from belting every word and dancing along with no mind.

Revisiting The Bastards with “Fucking With My Head” and “Hang On To Yourself,” Leith and Danzig gloriously roamed between the stage and floor, setting both platforms ablaze with sheer adrenaline and luminesce. Heartbreak anthem “Broken” marked a dramatic shift from the raucousness of the previous two songs, but Palaye Royale adjusted seamlessly.

A brief moment of silence preceded an all-too-familiar guitar riff that filled the room shortly after; winding it just the slightest bit down with The White Stripes’ iconic “Seven Nation Army,” Palaye’s riveting cover had the audience more prepped and pumped than ever before.

With spirits at an all-time high, there was no better time to get them even higher with bouncy “Get Higher.” With people off their feet as far as the eye can see, the 2013 track didn’t seem to have aged a day past its release.

Halfway through “Paranoid,” the band paused their set to aid a visibly struggling fan in the crowd before resuming with the song. Leith humourously mentioned, “I may be wearing eyeliner, but safety first!” (This was ironic, considering he ran offstage and climbed the VIP balcony to wave down below shortly before). But, at the end of the day, both these interactions showed that Palaye’s priorities, in actuality, were “fans first.”

Sebastian Danzig © Heather Koepp
Sebastian Danzig © Heather Koepp

“Dying In A Hot Tub” holds a special place in my heart, being the song that made me become a fan in the first place, but experiencing stripped instrumentals and Leith’s raw vocals took an already emotional track to an entirely different level. Acoustic “Line It Up” following directly after was something worthy of being brought to near-tears– apart from the vulnerable lyrics and melody, featuring singer LP’s guest appearance took the intensity of the stage from 10 to 100.

The emotional charge didn’t just end there, except “Punching Bag” went a punchier, sharper, and more defiant route than that of the last two numbers. “Mr. Doctor Man” broke the heavy angst in the air left behind by the string of songs with a snappy, retro edge.

Arguably the magnum opus of Palaye Royale’s discography had the rightful position of the penultimate song of the night; Leith, seated at a piano on the left side of the stage, performed a ballad version of “Lonely” shortly before his brothers returned to accompany him for their final goodbyes.

Last, “Fever Dream” was nothing short of an out-of-body experience. Perhaps it was Danzig’s soaring solos, Leith’s emotional rasp, or Barrett’s crescendoing drumming, but what’s certain is that there was not a more cinematic way to end the night; as confetti sprinkled down and Barrett tossed roses into the audience, the three brothers gave their final bows before retreating behind the curtains and ending the North American leg of their tour.

Palaye Royale © Daniel Rojas
Palaye Royale © Daniel Rojas

By the end of the night, Palaye Royale’s Fever Dream was one that no one wanted to wake up from.

It was a dream in that the entire show felt surreal, but the band made it so that every person in the room was as grounded in the present moment as much as they were grounded onstage. If real fever dreams were anything like the performance Palaye put on that night, I wouldn’t be opposed to reliving them forever.

indie pop, synthpop

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Fever Dream - Palaye Royale

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