Palace presents dramatic dream pop at St. Louis’ Delmar Hall

Delmar Hall hosted an intimate night of ethereal rock as the band Palace took to the stage for a stop on their Spring 2024 US tour. The venue was packed from front to back and buzzing in anticipation for the show, as I elbowed my way up to the front before shooting the opening act. This would be my second time seeing and shooting Palace — the first at FORMAT Festival in 2022. Back then, I had never heard of them but was instantly made a fan. As someone who loves atmospheric, “floaty”, dream pop like Beach House, I immediately threw Palace into all my playlists that I like to listen to when I want my mind to wander.

Now, a year and a half later, I was much more excited to see them than I was the first time.

Opening the show was a solo act by the name of Jens Kuross, whose set consisted of track after track of crooning, heartfelt, melodic tunes. A self-proclaimed “bad cabinet maker from Boise”, Jens has a great sense of humor and had me grinning from jokes in between songs. His set was both emotional and fun, and the attentiveness of the crowd set the tone in the room for the entire night. You could literally hear a pin drop during the quiet parts of the show; it felt like the audience was hanging onto every word being sung onstage.

Seeing Palace for the second time felt a lot better than the first. Back at FORMAT Festival, they were one of the first bands performing that day, playing an early, sunny set for the early-birds who were at the fest right when the gates opened. I think because I had never heard of them and was also way too excited for a full day of festival activities, I wasn’t able to properly chill out and absorb their vibe on that day.

This show was the complete opposite.

It was in the tightly packed Delmar Hall, which is a pretty small venue, only holding a couple hundred. The show was also at night, with the darkness catering way better to the band’s ethereal vibe and lighting. In that intimate venue, I felt I really got the true ‘Palace experience’. Their music is pleasant and lilting as it softly hits your ears, with wave after wave pulling you further into the world they build for you. Dramatic interludes hinted at darkness that sits just below their optimistic surface before the band kicked off once again with happy-go-lucky guitar, leading the way for lead singer Leo Wyndham’s reassuring voice to come in and remind you that everything is good again. Such is the beauty of Palace. 

Photography by Sean Rider

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