Alternative blues/rock band Palace combines relaxed vibes with deep vocals, the perfect mixture for long drives and summer nights. While still a young band, the four piece group formed in 2012, Palace has found great success and certainly has garnered a cult following. With 2016 album So Long Forever and recent new acoustic release of hit “Bitter,” the band continues to churn out really striking and melodic tunes. On a massive headlining tour, the band stopped at the O2 Institute before embarking to play in numerous other cities and festivals!
“Head Above Water” opened the bands set. A perfect opening song, the tune is constructed around an ambient rock that has come to typify Palace’s sound. While the crowd may have been slightly lacking in energy, Palace swayed emphatically as the song picked up midway through. The tempo shift is also an element that is found in numerous songs constructed by the band, no doubt a nod to the rock ideology the tempo movement creates music that display a lovely sonic build. Drum driven “I Want What You Got” came next. With a rhythmic undertone and electronic swing, the song perfectly displays the cool dude vibe that Palace encompasses. With this song and the reaction from the fans, it is clear why they have amassed such a cult following.
“Have Faith,” “Kilorian,” and “Veins” file in next. The crowd favourites are a mixture of up tempo melodic songs and layered vocals that give the songs a little commercial edge. The deep and ethereal voices dance around the small room, floating over the chord progression of each band member’s guitar. A little somber, the songs also have this sweet and mysterious edge to them that makes them more interesting both sonically and in their reflexive nature. “Holy Smoke” and “Break The Silence” continue the ambient rock feel. As the crowd sings along with these songs, the talent of each musician is really on full display. Palace is not merely a band who writes incredible lyrical content, they each in their own right are really talented musicians. This is visible as they each pass around rift solos dancing along to the beat.
Next comes a song about the sea, “Ocean Deep.” In full display of the vocal range, the song has unexpected elongation of the first verse before any instrumentals drop in. As couples slow dance around the room, the temped instrumentals lull the audience into a gentle sway. A totally new song displays a quiet sense of power and beauty that is not found in any other song in the set. A love song of sorts, the simple harmonies give a really lovely ethereal rock feel to the song. A perfect balance, the new song can only be a promise to what is still to come from Palace. If this is any indication it will be music of great story telling content and sweet vibes, something to look forward to!
“Live Well,” “It’s Over,” and “Bitter” are accompanied by a few more songs to round out the night. As each song builds towards the end the crowd gets more and more excited, singing loudly along to each word. While the songs do not posses the climatic musical shift of many rock songs, their steady ambient rock ease still brings the fans to excited movement and emotional moments.
In this headlining tour Palace has crafted a remarkable set. Part emotional, part energetic, the ambient rock songs are taken to a new height with the live performances. As members expertly play their role, the sound intertwines into one lovely masterpiece of sound that leaves fans elated. Palace has the unique ability to create important and meaningful tunes that are easy to listen to, a feat not done by many.
Reviewer: Kylie McCormick
Photo courtesy of PR.