RÜFÜS DU SOL have been touring pretty non-stop since the release of their third album Solace. The Australian trio touched down in New York City over Thanksgiving weekend for a trio of sold out shows at Terminal 5 on November 23, 24 & 25 for a reunion with some rabid and very tall fans (their fans are taller than me and I am six feet tall). The group had toured in New York four or five times after the release of Bloom, but now with a new album, Solace, in tow, there was a renewed excitement for the trio and what they might bring to their live show.
The trio had Icarus and Cubicolor open for them, setting the tone for the night with their own proper music and easing everyone into the show with some soothing live electronic music.
Standing in front of a wall of thin horizontal lights that curved around them, an array of stage lights above them and in the thin lights that changed colors to match the song moods and improved live instruments, RÜFÜS DU SOL went for bigger production value that befitted an electronic artist who could sell out a 3,000 person venue three nights in a row. The venue was packed – like really packed. It was probably the most sold out I have ever seen the place with the crowd wrapped around the bar on the main floor and a full house on all two upper levels. The columns were a real sightline menace on the night.
With the extra dose of music, the group had a much wider selection to choose from. They started with “Eyes,” but did not dwell on Solace long, switching between the new record and Bloom with tracks like “Brighter,” “Another Life” and “Like An Animal.”
One concern was that Lindqvist’s voice sounded a little tired. Seeing them live four or five times in the Bloom touring cycle, including at Terminal 5, he never sounded exactly like the album, but he was straining for a fair amount of the set, oddly except for the higher notes, when his voice was the most soothing. With a packed touring schedule the rest of the year, it may not get better, but hopefully that was just a one-night thing.
The songs from Bloom provided an element of familiarity to the set for fans to sing the words they have known for the past three years. Solace had been out for a month a half so the audience was by then well-versed in many of the hooks and the super fans up front seemed to know every word. The album lent itself to the live setting and it worked just right, with the bass from songs like “Underwater” and “Eyes” echoing around Terminal 5. The group walked off around 12:10, but came back quickly for an encore of “Lost In My Mind” and then the obvious “No Place,” because there was no place than right there that everyone wanted to be.
They walked off to a roar of approval from the audience as the thousands shuffled into the cold night, some maybe coming back for another dose on night two or three.