Concert Review: Rüfüs Du Sol

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Australian trio leaves memorable performance at Bill Graham

On Nov. 6, San Francisco welcomed alternative electro-dance group Rüfüs Du Sol at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The performance was the eleventh stop on Rüfüs Du Sol’s Solace Tour. The city was the perfect backdrop for the minimalist sultry sound that established the group’s presence in the broader Electronic Dance Music genre. This time I remembered that San Francisco venues have coat checks.

Jon George, the keyboard player, shouted, “San Francisco, this is the biggest show of the tour!” This statement instantly washed over the crowd, and everyone in attendance knew at that moment they were going to witness a spectacular show.

The stage was simple and not over-the-top-rave cliche. I thought the clear keyboard stand and band equipment was a smart aesthetic choice. The band has a great way of creating a look and feel with their albums from the artwork to their live performances that creates a consistent micro-universe.

Rüfüs Du Sol opened the show with “Eyes,” and it was the quintessential submerging experience that drew in the attention of the crowd. The lyric “‘Cause I see myself in your eyes,” flowed into the bass drop and sent crowd into bliss.

“Innerbloom” and “You Were Right” from their album titled “Bloom” were revived at the show and it created a sense of nostalgia. The two songs are the most famous from the group so far. “You Were Right” has over 50 million listens and “Innerbloom” has 24 million listens on Spotify — a significant leap from the rest of their discography. “You Were Right” is my personal favorite because it’s clean, light and it makes me want to do a wave-like motion with my whole body.

The show was like a wavelength going up and down. There were songs like “Treat You Better” that was slow and made the crowd sway from side to side, and then they were hit with a pulsating beat and the power of songs like “Lost in my Mind” — a song with dramatic vocalizations that echo Gregorian chants.

There are several songs with vocalizations that allowed for a more intimate connection between the group and the crowd. Much like the “Ay-oh” that Queen was famous for, many of the songs on the “Solace” album have a harmonious vocalization that give the songs a tasteful, gaudy appeal.

The vulnerable lyrics of Rüfüs Du Sol combined with the deep bass and flashing lights were something to appreciate. It isn’t enough to say the show created a sense of euphoria because the performance transported the audience somewhere else — possibly the majestic outback of Australia.

EDM culture from the outside looking in has an expected attire that features accessories like exaggerated candy bracelets, fishnets and bandanas. However, there was a notable portion of the crowd that chose a different style, deterring from said stereotypes. This divide between button-ups with wing-tipped shoes and tank tops with bandanas is an example of how Rüfüs Du Sol caters to many that enjoy EDM.

The show finished with the lead single from their “Solace” album — “No Place.” The raw and vulnerable conclusion that sings, “There’s no place I’d rather be. I feel myself with you” was a profound example of their ability to move a crowd.

Rüfüs Du Sol gracefully executes a happy middle between head-banging EDM and soft-indie. Their eclectic sound is distinguishable, and they have stayed true to it since their start. Their music is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

Written by: Josh Madrid – arts@theaggie.org