Review and Photos: The Sword, Royal Thunder, El Rey Theater, Los Angeles, CA 3/23/16

Posted by on April 1, 2016

TS16The Sword have been working tirelessly promoting their latest record High Country since it was released last year and have been on the road nonstop since day one and after a few months out, the band has a new refreshing feel when they are on stage which you can only understand if you catch them on the road. They are currently touring in company of their friends Royal Thunder which have shared the stage with the Austin boys several times and Metal Insider contributing photographer Alix Vallecillo was there capture their show at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

RT7If you are one of those who go to every metal show that hits your town over the weekend, you know that it comes as a nice break and relief to go into a much softer style of music once in a while, even if it happens to be on a Tuesday night. The show at the El Rey Theater was set to be a great having, despite the fact of only have two acts performing the entire night, Royal Thunder and The Sword at the end of the night.

By the time  Royal Thunder was getting ready to take the stage, the crowd was already pouring into the theater and lining up to get the bands’ merch or a drink at one of the two bars in the venue, just to immediately take their spot on the floor to witness the Atlanta quartet.

Something good about only having two bands for an entire show is that their sets are much longer than usual even for the openers and that was something much needed for Royal Thunder because time passed flying watching them perform for their 1 hour set. Even though they played “Forgive Me, Karma” and “Forget Me” their performance can’t be forgotten by their seemingly long time fans and the new ones they surely made that night. Watching singer Mlny Parson performing with the passion she did which was not just felt by the audience who cheered for her amazing vocalizations, but by herself as she was shaking from the intensity of her songs.

TS12Up next was the headliner and highlight of the night, The Sword. Their setlist was massive and played for almost 2 hours with a mix of new and old songs and the tracks of High Country were performed in the most natural way possible, despite being part of their usual live sets for the past 6 months.

Something that guitarist Kyle Shutt mentioned to me was the polarizing reception on the new record, pointing out that some of their followers feel their new music to be different than their usual stoner metal sound, but to be honest, that’s not really a factor when played live. Some of the subtle sound changes from the record are intensified in a live setting, making them sound as The Sword we all know and care, and there isn’t really that much of a change from “Tres Brujas” to “Suffer No Fools.”

The guys very active and vivid on stage, reinforcing the idea of them already feeling comfortable with the new music and embracing their new direction and, based on how packed the venue was, I’m sure many fans feel the same way.

You can still catch the band during the rest of the dates left on their tour with Royal Thunder and get some more during their run with Purson next month:

With Royal Thunder:

4/01 Saskatoon, SK – O’Brians Event Center
4/02 Winnipeg, MB – Pyramid Cabaret
4/03 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
4/04 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
4/05 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
4/07 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Hall
4/08 Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue
4/10 Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
4/11 Ottawa, ON – Ritual
4/12 London, ON – London Music Hall
4/14 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle
4/15 Northampton, MA – Pearl Street Night Club
4/16 Washington, D.C. – DC BRAU

With Purson:

5/07 Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion
5/08 Tallahassee, FL – Sidebar Theater
5/10 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
5/11 Orlando, FL – The Social
5/12 Pensacola, FL – Vinyl
5/13 Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees
5/16 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
5/17 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
5/18 Syracuse, NY – Lost Horizon
5/20 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
5/22 Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range
5/24 Columbia, MO – Blue Note
5/25 Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theater
5/26 Lawrence, KS – Granada
5/27 Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma
5/28 Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live

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