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Royel Otis -Lincoln Hall (Chicago) - April 24th, 2024

25 April 2024

Every song feels like an instant hit! Those are the words one can’t help but think when hearing all of the pop wonders flowing from Sydney’s darling duo. Royel Otis is made up of Royel Maddell and Otis Pavlovic who both sing and play Fender guitars at the front of the stage with some great interweaving of melodies and pedal effects. Live, they are also accompanied by both a drummer and a keyboard player with both a Moog and a Sequential Prophet-6 to make for some super prominent melody lines. Each song also contains multiple sing along hits and their young and energetic crowd was quite ready to dance, sing along, and even crowd surf to tracks that just make you feel good to listen to. At times, it felt more like a party than a concert!

In fact, it would be accurate to say that each of their tracks has multiple hooks in it and gives the listener and audience the sort of rush when you hear a chorus, only this last for the entire length of the song from start to finish. Likewise, their 60 minute set with a 10 minute encore felt like it was a rush of optimistic energy that didn’t have a dull moment, either. It was especially fun to see the band relish in seeing their adoring fans and even recognizing a fan who had traveled to see them multiple nights. Their audience echoed their enthusiasm and ate up even the minimal stage banter with glee. This was also the band’s first show in Chicago, which made the night seem even more special.

While Royel Otis has three EPS released the last three years, Pratts & Pain from February 2024 is their first full length but already shows a sense of accomplishment and promise with ear candy galore. In particular, “Heading for the Door,” “Adored,” “Velvet,” and “Fried Rice,” as well as “I Wanna Dance With You” and “Kool Aid” from their 2023 EP Sofa Kings are especially spectacular both live and on album. The crowd sang the loudest to the refrain of “Sofa King,” elevating the moment into a positive shared experience. Additionally, the band treated Chicago to two spectacular covers-Murder on the Dancefloor by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Linger by The Cranberries.

Best of all, even though it was clearly a fun experience, it should be noted that you had the sense that you were seeing the beginning of something truly great and the potential to go even farther and have a very long career. Considering Royel Otis have so many songs that are instantly lovable and transcend a mere indie rock appeal, it’s no wonder why! This reviewer would also be remiss if it wasn’t mentioned how great their videos are so check out their YouTube channel here.

Royel Otis are touring North America right now before heading to Europe. See tour dates here