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all werds: Charisa and Val (AKA U.S. Royalty SUPERfans)

all photos: Dakota Fine

After a long and frustrating drive from the bowels of Southern Maryland into the bustling streets of DC, we finally arrived at DC 9. Flustered by a slight case of road rage, we made our way in to the bar downstairs to calm down before the show. The line up for the night was The.Blackout.District opening, followed by The Mary Onettes and U.S. Royalty in their first headlining show at DC 9. While our sole intention for the night was to see U.S. Royalty, but we were pleasantly surprised to see such a talented trio of bands.

The.Blackout.District
While we missed the beginning of The.Blackout.District’s set, the portions we did see had a calming influence, one that would place anyone in a relaxed state after a long day at work. They have a soft melodic sound created by an interesting assortment of instruments, electronics and vocal mix. Amid the usual array of guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion, they also used a Melodica, as well as various synthesizers.

The Mary Onettes
Torpa, Jönköping, Sweden: Yeah, that took us a little while to get the pronunciation too. However, the band played a stellar set. Despite the numerous technical difficulties, these guys trooped it out. Even before they made it on stage, adoring fans were buzzing with good comments. The Mary Onettes definitely lived up to their hype. Their set being an ideal bridge between The.Blackout.District and U.S. Royalty. Their selection continued the relaxing theme that their opening band had started and worked their way to a faster rhythm and more upbeat tempo creating a smooth transition to the headlining band. This is definitely a band we’d love to see again, should their tour return to our part of the U.S.

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U.S. Royalty
We’ve seen U.S. Royalty multiple times since their second show. Now that they’ve reached their seventh, we’ve seen great transformation in their overall stage performance. Over a short amount of time the boys have developed a comfortable and strong stage presence, and at this point are seemingly basking. Regardless of various sound issues, they still played an amazing set. It seemed, at times, the vocals were hard to hear, but the crowd was still dancing along and having a great time. Every time we see U.S. Royalty, they renew the feeling we had when we first saw them. After last night, no one can deny that they are a truly incredible band which people should definitely keep their eye on. This is one band that never disappoints!

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