Royel Otis, Girl and Girl @ Theatre of the Living Arts

by | May 16, 2024 | Shows

Royel Otis at Theatre of the Living Arts (photo by Sam Schraub)



If you’ve been on any corner of the internet in the past few months then you’ve probably heard of Royel Otis. The new popular kids of the indie music scene made their way from Australia to the United States this past month to embark on their first—and completely sold-out—US tour. 


Warming up the crowd was fellow Australian band Girl and Girl. Their tongue-in-cheek lyrics and fuzzy garage rock sound were a hit with the audience. With a musical likeness to Current Joys and Deeper, this was one opening act that I immediately looked up and added to my current Spotify playlist. 


Once the lights dipped blue and the opening chords to “Sonic Blue” buzzed through the air, the crowd came alive. It was a Thursday night but the weekend partying came early. Only two songs in and it became clear that as a live band Royel Otis live up to, if not surpass, their recorded music. When one song ended, it was always followed by a murmur of different audience members remarking in awe of how incredible the band is live. Even the begrudgingly brought along boyfriends and girlfriends of the night would turn to their significant others and admit that this is one of the best new artists they’ve heard. The barricade that night was full of faces smiling but blurred from bouncing around, hidden behind a canopy of tangled hair as people danced as hard as they could. 



In just a tight 55-minute long set Royel Otis has really packed it in. I found myself saying “Oh this is my favorite song!” at least six times that night. It’s hard to pinpoint certain songs of the night because as cheap as it sounds, truly all Royel Otis songs are just that good and that fun. They’re a band that has really embraced being carefree and celebrates the recklessness of youth, the campiness of cheesy lyrics, the liveliness of every song having an unquestionable hook and danceable beat. If I were to liken Royel Otis’s music to a feeling, their sound is like having a crush, can’t get it out of your head, can’t stop smiling, a warm fuzzy happiness squeezing you tight. 


In addition to playing the majority of their new album Pratts and Pain and most songs from their EP Sofa Kings, they also included two new songs and two covers in their set. One of those new songs, “Claw Foot” has already cemented itself as a top-tier song for me. The future for this band is bright. 


Their most notable cover, the viral “Murder on the Dancefloor,” originally by Sophie Ellis Bextor had everyone on their feet, double-fisted drinks splashing everywhere as we all lived our best 80s disco, Saltburn summer fantasies. The band’s most popular song “Oysters in My Pocket” followed as the fake finale. The crowd had become its own singular being at this point, everyone frolicking around, sweating, yelling through smiles and hot cheeks “They say that you waste away / but we’re having more fun.” As the band left the stage they remarked “hopefully see you soon,” oblivious to the fact that their next Philadelphia show is already on its way to selling out. 


Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Sam Schraub)



Girl and Girl performing

Girl and Girl performing

Girl and Girl performing

Girl and Girl performing

Girl and Girl performing






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