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Pop-Punk ‘Royals’ Rock The Stage At THON 2023

As morale began to ebb in the Bryce Jordan Center during THON 2023, Royals came to the rescue. The four-piece pop-punk band from New Jersey performed last year during the dead of night but appeared Saturday afternoon this year. Royals got everyone moving again with a collection of hits from the 2000s and 2010s, as the band rocked the BJC with its distorted guitars.

Royals’ lead singer, Rocco, sauntered onto the stage in a sleeveless pink shirt that glimmered with sequins. The band kicked off its set with a bass-boosted rendition of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.”

After pausing to acknowledge the crowd, Royals jumped into a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and WALK THE MOON’s “Shut Up and Dance.” 

One of the highlights of the performance was a guitar-punctuated version of Chris Brown’s “Forever,” where Rocco emulated Breezy’s distinctive falsetto. 

Royals brought the tempo back up with “California Gurls” by Katy Perry and got the crowd jumping with “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. 

The band then took a brief break, but Rocco reassured the crowd by saying, “We’re not done yet. We’re just getting warmed up.” 

The band got things going again with DNCE’s “Cake By the Ocean,” and the audience clapped along to Pitbull and Kesha’s 2013 hit, “Timber.” A parade of nostalgic bops followed, highlighted by “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz and “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas. 

The band switched things up near the end of its set, getting funky with a mash-up of Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September” and Post Malone’s “Congratulations.”

It ended with ‘ole reliable, “Mr. Brightside,” giving the weary dancers a much-needed infusion of energy. 

If you haven’t gotten your fix of Royals, check out the band’s Instagram.

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About the Author

Adam Babetski

Adam Babetski is a senior double majoring in broadcast journalism and medieval history and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He's from the only part of Virginia without tractors and southern accents, except Richmond (reportedly). You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBabetski for hot takes about sports. For serious inquiries, email [email protected].

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