Rüfüs | Live at Palace Theatre

It was the final show at the iconic Palace Theatre, and what a show it was. Rüfüs blew the crowd away during their third consecutive show at the venue; the first of their Worlds Within Worlds tour to sell out.


After a successful summer festival circuit including Listen Out, Falls Festival and Big Day Out; three entries into Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2013; travelling overseas to spread the word of their lush electronic indie pop and supporting Cut Copy on their UK tour, the three lads from Sydney have returned home for a triumphant national tour of their debut album Atlas.

Support came from the always impressive Kilter, whose set included his energetic remixes of Snakadaktal, Ben Pearce and Duke Dumont. Following him was Hayden James who took a little while to get the crowd going, but had everyone with him by the end as he played a new mix, reminiscent of an upbeat XX, and closed with his big single of last year, Permission To Love.

Then the band that everyone was there to see came on. With some gorgeous yet simple lighting, Rüfüs played a blistering set, opening with Modest Life. The magic of Rüfüs is their mix of electronica with live instruments, on-point vocals, tight beats and relatable lyrics. The band members – guitar/vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist, keyboardist Jon George and drummer James Hunt – appeared entirely at home with having their lyrics sung back at them by a crowd that were hungry for more, and were clearly impressed by the sight of patrons crowded throughout the beautiful tiered interior of the Palace. The fact that this would be the final gig ever at the historic venue – which has been open for over 100 years under various guises – was mentioned several times between songs by Lindqvist, accompanied by both booing and cheering from the crowd, with the night later being described as “bittersweet”.

Highlights of the set included hits Take Me, Sundream and Tonight, as well as personal favourites Sarah and Imaginary Air. Singer Nicole Millar of Peking Duk’s High fame joined the band on stage to provide a great rendition of Unforgiven, while George showed off his harmonica skills during Selena. Playing their debut album Atlas in its entirety, as well as a few older tunes such as This Summer, they had the entire crowd dancing and singing along to their tunes. Fans crowded on the balconies and the stairs, which allowed for great views of the band throughout the large venue without making the place feel cavernous (only one of the many reasons the Palace will be missed as a premier venue for music in Melbourne). An encore was loudly demanded with much stomping and chanting after Take Me, and the crowd was rewarded with their recent Like A Version mash up of FoalsMy Number and Booka Shade’s Charlotte, and the show ended with the gorgeous tune Desert Night, including a fantastic drum solo from Hunt.

If this tour is anything to go by, there are big things in store for this band. Their album Atlas was by far my favourite release of 2013, and their clear intention to work hard and tour hard have won them fans all over the world.

Set to play at the sold out Splendour In The Grass in July before taking time to travel and write their sophomore album, the band does not look like stopping any time soon – meaning that the future is bright for the most excellent Rüfüs.

The Worlds Within Worlds tour continues until 28 June – more details are available on the band’s official website.

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