Thousands of Royal Blood fans descended on Swansea’s new area to rock out at the venue’s first music gig on Saturday (19 March).
Swansea Arena, the heart of the £135m Copr Bay development officially only opened last week, and it has already hosted comedy legend John Bishop before being transformed into an exhibition space to promote local businesses later in the week. Saturday’s rock concert has given audiences a taste of the amazing events that this venue can host.
The city has some fantastic venues already such as the Swansea Grand Theatre, but it has been missing a venue of this size. It is hoped that the 3,500 capacity arena will appeal to even more artists and attract productions that the city arguably was been unable to host before. It is certainly something which has been long-overdue for the city, so I’m really pleased to see it come to fruition.
It was a historic moment, not just for Swansea, but also Royal Blood fans as the event marked the start of their biggest European tour to date, which will also see them take to the stage at such illustrious venues as London’s O2, the AO Arena Manchester and The OVO Hydro in Glasgow.
Supported by the The Amazons, they warmed up the Welsh audience with popular hits Black Magic (personal favourite) and In My Mind. You might say that The Amazons were first to christen the stage, but that’s not for us to judge. They did a hell of a job and fans were certainly fired up for the main act.
The night really got started when the Royal Blood boys, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher took to the stage. The musical talents of this pair is incredible to witness. Mike delivers the powerful vocals with his unique bass playing style that turns it into this electric/bass guitar thing rolled into one. Meanwhile, Ben absolutely smashes it on the drums. I just don’t know how he does it?
As the evening turned into night, fans were entertained with the rock duo’s top hits including Trouble’s Coming, Oblivion, Figure It Out and Lights Out. The boys also showcased their new Honeybrains set, which the audience really enjoyed.
To date, the guys have achieved 2 million global sales, and won the BRIT Award for Best British Group, two NME Awards and a Kerrang! Award. Their debut album was also nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Speaking after Saturday’s performance, Lisa Mart, General Manager for Swansea Arena, said:
“Royal Blood were just the absolute perfect performers to launch the music aspect of our venue – they put on an astounding show that really tested the capabilities of our stage and auditorium. We are thrilled that so many people have commented on the quality of the sound and experience in the space – that has been so important to us while working on this project.”
Pipped to the post by Swansea, Royal Blood will be return to Wales next weekend when they’ll be in Cardiff.