Review for Triple M by X. Hulse
Last night, NSW Alternative Rock five-piece The Rubens, performed at the Forum Theatre as part of their ‘Million Man’ Tour. This is in support of the single by the same name and subsequently, the highly anticipated third studio album, due for release this year.
Special guest Kira Puru kicked things off as the crowd began to filter their way through the theatre doors. The simplicity of the vocal and bass duet proved surprisingly effective, with Kira showcasing the most impressive vocal range for the night and alongside a chain of killer bass lines to-boot! Her style oozed summer vibes and good-time grooves. You may recognize the name Kira Puru from her work with Aussie music legend Paul Kelly, touring and recording with the man himself (Paul Kelly - I Don’t Know What I’d Do (Feat. Kira Puru):
This was followed shortly after by Joyride, whose style merged a number of dissimilar genres including soul, hip-hop and electronica. Joyride’s strong stage presence together with his multitalented cast of musicians proved an intriguing and entertaining support in anticipation for the main act. Traditionally, these wouldn’t be the type of support acts you would expect from a Rock gig, though The Rubens have been noted for their diverse influences and musical interests. ("I think we've lost a lot of that classic rock and moved towards rhythm and blues and soul. That's what we always loved to do…" – Sam Margin, Lead Vocals/Guitar. Reference: The Courier, Danielle McGrane http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5251822/the-rubens-emerge-from-their-bunker)
If there’s something to be said about the opening performances, it’s that they undeniably set the mood for a quality night of live music in Melbourne town.
Next up, the headliners hit the stage to round-off an all-Aussie line up. The crowd is energetic, feeding off the band’s grand entrance as the lighting starts to fill the theatre’s atmospheric interior. One thing that’s becoming clear is their ever-growing list of staple, anthem-like tracks, with the likes of “Hold Me Back”, “Cut Me Loose”, “My Gun”, “Hallelujah” and “Hoops”, all of which appeared on last night’s solid set list. (set list from Setlist.fm: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-rubens/2018/forum-theatre-melbourne-australia-5befbfd0.html)
Much like other Aussie Modern/Alt. Rock acts such as Gang of Youths and Kingswood, it is evident that this sub-genre has developed a significant following, and for good reason; they are genuinely talented musicians. During last night’s performance, it quickly became evident that The Rubens have mastered their craft. Not only were the songs exceptionally tight, but the interaction with the audience was also high. From Sam walking through the crowd during “Cut Me Loose”, to inviting an excited fan up on stage to boogie later in the set, it made for a particularly entertaining show. Both support artists were also invited on stage for specific songs, creating harmonic twin-lead vocals.
It’s safe to say that fans were more than happy to see The Rubens back to doing what they do best. They’re a hard-working Aussie band that put on an authentic show, last night was a testament to their relevance in the live scene. Appropriately, they concluded with their most renowned track in “Hoops”, punters left in high spirits… for live music is still well and truly alive in this city!
With their debut LP reaching #3 on the ARIA Album Charts and the follow-up; ‘Hoops’, climbing to #2, we’re eager to see if the Aussie Rockers can hit top spot in 2018 with their third release.
Remaining tour dates:
- Mar 3rd, Sydney Opera House, Sydney