This past Saturday night we hosted the first Extra Chill event of 2023, featuring Babe Club, Leone & The Ascension, and Leopard and the Diamond Sky at The Royal American. The show brought a sold out crowd with incredible performances from all three artists during a night that we won’t soon forget!
In addition to the performances, Leopard Lee of Leopard and the Diamond Sky brought in lighting tech and visual artist Sean Patrick to add some extra special atmosphere to the venue that evening. He and Sean spent the afternoon prior to the show setting up festoon lights and lasers to bring things to the next level, and we all enjoyed the results of that, so special shout out to them!
Leone & The Ascension hit the stage at 10pm in front of a room that was packed out and absolutely ready for the type of funky energy that this band brings.
The full Ascension band also included vocalist and songwriter Nia Zhané. They performed Leone originals, a few Nia songs, and even a cover of Anderson Paak and & NxWorries’ “Suede”.
About halfway through the set, Leone decided it was too hot to be wearing a shirt on stage and tossed it out into the crowd. However he revealed a chiseled figure that was certainly not going to cool anything down.
The rest of the set was an absolute rager, as you might have seen in the video on our Instagram, which features them jamming out on CeCe Peniston’s “Finally”:
It’s safe to say that Leone & The Ascension made a big splash during their Royal American debut, and earned themselves a whole lot of new fans that night. The crowd was buzzing with excitement after they finished, upping the anticipation even more for Babe Club’s headlining set to follow.
Babe Club took full advantage of this anticipation and opened their set with an intimate moment that served to continue building things up.
The first moments featured the duo’s founding members Jenna Desmond and Corey Campbell on the floor in front of the stage performing the as-yet unreleased “Forever Friend” — getting up-close and personal with fans in the front row.
Then, Corey hopped up on stage where drummer Julius DeAngelis had also found his place, and Jenna sat at the foot of the stage for the 2020 single “Need A Girl”. This ode to female friendship & companionship was one of Babe Club’s earliest hits, and it’s always been a fan-favorite (myself included).
By the end of the song, Jenna had made her way atop the stage and the band had successfully grabbed the attention of everyone in the room. They were rolling, performing all of their recent singles as fans sang along to every word.
Babe Club even went all the way back to the OG song, “Hate Myself”, released in 2018 not long after Corey and Jenna parted ways with SUSTO. For this they brought up Tommy Merritt of The Simplicity on bass, as he used to play with Babe Club in the early days.
In my extremely biased opinion as the person who organized the event — this was the kind of Babe Club show we’ve all been waiting to see.
It’s rare for a local band to reach a point where people know the words to more than one of their original songs. This still feels like the beginning, as they have yet to even release a full-length album, and Extra Chill is happy to have been part of the journey so far.
Leopard and the Diamond Sky were up next for a special late night performance to cap off the evening. This was their first time playing a show since June of 2022, and it kicks off a run of several shows they’ve got planned including one on April 7th at the Pour House.
With the fog machine and all the special effects and lighting turned way up, they gave a mesmerizing performance complete with songs from their 2021 album Magick & plenty of improvisation. Leopard and the Diamond Sky had it feeling like a late night festival set in there, and we were all about it.
Overall, this might have been the best Extra Chill show to date. Thank you all for joining us, and we hope to see you April 22nd at Czar House!
See more pictures from the night below. All photos by Steve Aycock.