From Covers to Classics: Royel Otis’ Electric Performance at Lincoln Hall

By Zoe Blakeman – Photo by Georges Antoni

Royel Otis, consisting of lead singer Otis Pavlovic and guitarist Royel Maddell, is an Australian band with multiple big hits in the indie music world. They most recently blew up for their Triple J performance covering the newly popularized song “Murder on the Dancefloor.”

They played at Lincoln Hall, which is a smaller venue, but sold out the show months prior. The room was packed to the brim. There was no space to move. While I was waiting in line to get inside, I saw the band walking into the venue and even spoke to them for a minute! They were all very kind and cool. It made the show that much more exciting.

Their first three songs, “Sonic Blue,” “Velvet,” and “Bull Breed,” paved the way for their show. There were lots of new wave synth sounds, and lights ricocheted across the stage, mimicking each bang of the drum. They consistently blended intense edgy rock with smooth beachy vibes creating a rich and unique sound only attributable to the band. I quickly noticed that they didn’t play like a regular band. There wasn’t just a drummer, just a singer, or just a guitar player, but they performed as a whole building off of each other to make one cohesive sound.

When the band played “I Wanna Dance with You,” we were all instructed to start dancing and singing if we knew the words. The group loved interacting with the crowd and was very clearly energized by the screams and cheers coming from the audience. At one point they made everyone raise their glasses, or cans, to cheer each other in this once-in-a-lifetime musical experience. No show will be exactly like this one, so we cheered to that.

“Motels” offered a nice break from the intensity of heavy riffs and screams. The band was illuminated by soft yellow lights glowing from behind them. The song was almost grounding. It brought us back to the present to sway in their slow jam smiling at strangers across the room. We then got a glimpse into an unreleased song. I can’t say much about it, but I will say their fans will absolutely love it.

Everyone knows their song “Sofa King,” with their infamous line, “You’re so fucking gorgeous,” which the crowd loudly belted echoing for miles outside of the venue. “Going Kokomo” also garnered a big reaction from the crowd as we all started jumping and screaming at this fun feel feel-good song.

The lead guitarist ran around the stage swinging his guitar around and screaming during his heavy grunge solo with twangs of summertime beach days. The group all wore big t-shirts with long sleeves underneath giving them some unity while still being unique. You could tell they’re all best friends having a ton of fun with each other and their new 500+ friends.

They played two covers, “Murder on the Dancefloor,” by Sophie Ellis Baxtor, and “Linger” by The Cranberries. The group recently blew up on social media for their version of “Murder on the Dancefloor,” which the crowd went completely wild for.

The ground was literally shaking with the jumping and screaming coming from all sides of the room. “Linger” offered another softer moment while it was just the lead singer and lead guitar strumming and singing soft vocals. While everyone was singing, we all knew to be quiet to let the lead singer’s distinctive voice shine through.

Lastly, the band played their most popular song, “Oysters in My Pocket,” which is the fan favorite. Without any instructions, the crowd started clapping their hands above their heads matching the drum beats making the song feel even more special. This was only the third show of their tour, but anyone would be lucky to see their indie punk explosions on stage. Surely a concert to remember.

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North American Tour

April 20 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, Irving TX

April 21 – The Resonant Head, Oklahoma City, OK*

April 23 – Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul, MN* LIMITED TICKETS

April 24 – Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL* SOLD OUT

April 26 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto, ON* UPGRADED + SOLD OUT

April 27 – A&R Music Bar, Columbus, OH*

April 28 – Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights, OH*

April 30 – Racket, New York, NY* NEW DATE ADDED

May 1 – Racket, New York, NY* LIMITED TICKETS

May 2 -Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA* UPGRADED

May 3 Howard Theatre-, Washington, DC* UPGRADED

May 4 -Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC* UPGRADED

May 5 – Shaky Knees Festival, Atlanta, GA

May 8 – Parish, Austin, TX LOW TICKETS

May 9 – Rubber Gloves, Denton, TX*

May 11 – Meow Wolf, Denver, CO* SOLD OUT

May 15 – The Rebel Lounge, Phoenix, AZ*

May 16 – The Fonda, Los Angeles, CA UPGRADED

May 18 – Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, CA* SOLD OUT

May 20 Aladdin Theater-, Portland, OR* UPGRADED

May 21 – The Pearl, Vancouver, BC* SOLD OUT

May 22 -The Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA* UPGRADED

May 24 – BottleRock, Napa, CA

May 26 – Boston Calling, Boston MA

*with Girl and Girl