Indie garage-rock group Whitehall is headlining a show at the Royal American July 10, sharing the stage with fellow locals Cole Collins and Dead Swells.
The band, who likens its gritty, pop-tinged sound to that of a “garage bubble-bath”, is looking forward to returning to one of the group’s favorite places to play music.
“Royal is a very special venue. It’s important to us, and it’s important to the scene,” said bassist Brennan Clark. “There is something about the intimacy of that room that is really fun and exciting.”
It will be one of the band’s first live shows since covid restrictions have lifted, and since the most recent album, Swordfish Catcher, has been released. The tracks show them experimenting with a new dynamic after the departure of former saxophonist Pat Magwood and have led to a sound that is ultimately heavier and more raw.
“It’s been different. Some of these songs we are just now starting to play, we had never played them live before the pandemic. We’re back to figuring it all out, just enjoying the newness of playing shows again,” said singer/guitarist Paddy Mckiernan.
Though they’ve known him for years, this will be Whitehall’s first show with singer-songwriter Cole Collins. “He just released a really cool couple of singles. I think he’s a really good musician. It will be cool to share the stage with him,” said drummer Davis Rowe.
The band is also excited to reunite with local band Dead Swells. “[It will be] a great experience just for that,” McKiernan said. “A great evening with a bunch of people we like.”
Dead Swells lead singer and guitarist Paul Nederostek agrees. “I’m excited to play with both of those guys,” he said. The 5-piece band, which, in addition to Nederostek, includes bassist Ben Moody, keyboardist Luke Reeves, drummer Joe Landsburg and guitarist Adam Haltiwanger, finished up the band’s self-titled album in August. It’s an indie-rock record peppered with dreamy synth-laden psychedelia.
“It definitely would have been easier to promote if we could have played shows,” said Nederostek of releasing an album during a pandemic. He’s glad to finally be able to perform the songs live, especially at Royal American. “It’s got that special charm — it sounds great in there, and people come to actually listen to music.”
Cole Collins is also looking forward to playing live for the first time since venues have reopened. “I am stoked that Whitehall was immediately on board. This will be our first show together,” he said. “I’ve done a few shows with Dead Swells.”
Collins, whose sound is best described as progressive indie-rock with an element of pop, will debut his two newest singles, “Somedays” and “Solar Reprise.” They were written during the pandemic, a time when he found himself returning to his love of music after a few years of focusing on other pursuits.
As for what he’s most looking forward to about the show, the answer might be surprising: “Messing up,” Collins said. “I’m looking forward to making mistakes and learning from them.”
All three acts are ready to dial up the noise. As Whitehall guitarist Avery Greeson said, “We just like being loud.” Doors for the show will open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door.
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