Arts, Dining & Entertainment, Rockin' The Region

Rockin the Region: Royals to play Pickle Barrel

By DJ Dave Hoffenberg

Royals are bringing their pop masterpiece to the Pickle Barrel this Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m. I saw them last winter for their first time in Killington and my first time seeing them. I’m really looking forward to seeing the show again. I highly recommend you go as it will be one of the best weekends of the season.

Royals are a four-piece band with Kyle on drums, Mike on bass, Kenny on guitar and Rocco is the lead singer. You can find them on Facebook at “Royalscovers” and on Instagram “@royalsusa.”

Rocco described the show and said, “We’re a Pop Act. It’s high energy. We’re non-stop dancing. We don’t have any songs that are slow. It’s very have a good time, party anthem, Top 40 music. We love if you haven’t seen us before because we’re new, we’re fresh, we’re modern. Come have some fun, let’s party all night.”

Royals loved playing at the Pickle last winter. Rocco said, “Pickle Barrel is easily one of my favorite nightclubs, for the simple fact that it’s a vibe that has that friendly atmosphere. Two floors where it’s so packed you’re right on top of each other and that’s what this band loves so much about the Pickle Barrel. It’s very connected in a way of we’re all together, we’re all here with a tight squeeze. Let’s have some fun.”

Royals play some clubs in New Jersey that are 3,000-capacity rooms. Rocco said, “It’s hard to reach that audience all the way in the back. This has a very intimate feel. Everyone is there for a good time. It’s one of those rooms where you get off the ski lift and that’s the place to be. It’s an incredible venue all around. Pickle staff is great, the bartenders are great, owner and the people who come in there. Royals fit so well in that room because of the demographic of that crowd… and we love that we get to play two nights in a row.”

They take what they do seriously. They’re in rehearsal now two to three times a week, prepping for summer which is their big season. They want to make sure the flow of the set is correct. 

Rocco explained, “It’s so important we give the crowd the very best show and seem like it’s seamless.” They don’t have to be the tightest band. Rocco added, “So many bands worry about being tight. For us it’s the entertaining. We’re not a band, we’re an entertainment act. That’s what’s different about this. We’re making sure the show is correct. At the end of the day people don’t care about the chords, they care about the songs. They have a short attention span, so we have to make sure we’re on our game 24/7.”

Rocco started playing the drums when he was 8 and says he always had a passion to play music. He grew up listening to KISS and Elvis. He said, “My parents had me listening to them a lot. I always loved singing; I’ve been singing forever. I found a passion in the performing end of it. It’s what I really wanted to do.” 

He was a drummer for a band up until high school but knew if he wanted to follow his passion, he had to get off the drums and front. He added, “I play bass, guitar, keys but it took a toll on me freshman year when I realized I had to front. I was watching an old singer of mine and knew I could do 10 times better. I took the reins and lead vocals, and it took off from there.” 

His current influences include: Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Harry Styles and Michael Jackson.

What sets Royals aside from other cover bands is, they just play pop music. They started out with a variety of genres including rock and heavy metal but knew it wasn’t for them. Pop became their identity. Royals have

 only been on the scene for two short years but it definitely doesn’t show. They were an original band in 2016, having released an album, but it was more for fun. When Covid shut everything down, they decided to become a cover band. 

Rocco said, “We got to work heavy behind the scenes, getting super tight, trying to find our identity, our brand and how to market this correctly. That’s when Royals came about, when we made it a brand.”

Their hard work is tremendous but signing with Rob “Monte” Montesdeoca and Monte Entertainment has worked wonders for them since they’re now playing all the top clubs. 

Rocco said, “It’s a power team. When we first met Rob, it was our first time signing with an agency. I was blown away that Rob wanted to work with us. We were so early in our career, but he saw something in us. Rob has now become like my second dad. Rob is the man, he got us to this level. He was the only one who believed in us and what we were trying to do. We wouldn’t be anything without him. He really understood us and that’s what it’s all about.” 

(I thought only the “Hokey Pokey” knew that, haha!)

And Royals continue to push new limits. Rocco said, “We have so much growing to do and so much stuff to get done but we’re not going to stop until we’re the best band. I promise we’ll be untouchable soon.” 

That’s confidence, not cockiness. There’s a big difference and I totally understand.

The band is appreciative of their fans for supporting them.

Rocco said, “We really appreciate all the love and support. I love the show and the atmosphere, performing is just what I do, it’s everything to me. I go on that stage with knowing I’m going to be free and if you want to dance, let’s dance and if not that’s OK because I’m still going to have the time of my life up there.”

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