Photos by Jenn Noga
I have been to many concerts at the Grog Shop in my lifetime but none have been as special and captivating as Royal and the Serpent. Honestly, in my humble opinion, it may have been the perfect show and one of the best I’ve ever seen.
The night opened with TRUSS and HALLIE, both acts local to Cleveland and fronted by badass ladies. Their performances were captivating, high energy, and a joy to watch as always. (I could literally gush about them forever, but that’s an article for a different time). This wasn’t my first time seeing anyone on this lineup so I knew the audience was in for a treat.
I had seen Royal for the first time over the summer at Wonderstruck and I was so excited to see the difference between a festival set and a tour set, especially in a more intimate setting.
While my only complaint of the evening was almost getting whacked in the head by a guitar (which is a hazard that comes with the job), I thought the set was perfect. The songs flowed one after the other, it didn’t feel like it went on forever which is my usual complaint about shows I go to. Everyone’s set was the perfect length of time, keeping everything moving but didn’t leave you feeling dissatisfied. Royal’s energy was contagious, and she sounded even better live than on her records which is really rare for an artist.
The night was very special for John and Katy who got engaged at the show! It was a really sweet moment that I felt lucky enough to be a part of and capture. To my knowledge, I’ve never witnessed a proposal at a show before, and I think as far as show proposals go you couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to witness it.
The night ended with a killer cover of Mr. Brightside, EAT SPIT (which is one of my go-to songs when I lift at the gym), and overwhelmed, the song that blew up on Tiktok in 2020.
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better lineup, and will go down as one of my favorite shows. While you just had to be there to witness this incredible moment in time, you can still see Royal and the Serpent supporting grandson (another one of my favorite artists) on Death of a Tour, and you definitely should.