2022 has certainly seen the resurgence of live music in Australia. The people of Adelaide/ Tarntanya have been particularly fortunate with the offerings presented. Last night’s contribution was one of the year’s finest.
Jon George of RÜFÜS DU SOL summed up it best when he proclaimed, “Shit, I think we’re in for a good night. Are you ready to dance?” We were.
For those brave enough to venture into the extreme heat when doors opened, they were lucky to be welcomed by the beats of RONA. Kaytetye producer and DJ Rona Glynn-McDonald, may be relatively new on the music scene, but her talent is mighty. By integrating soundscapes of Country with synths and melodies, RONA. creates considerate and poignant electronica. Tracks including Feel It Too and Closure (feat. Helena) induced goosebumps and a desire to dance. RONA. produces music that you not only hear but feel. She is a star on the rise.
Next up was English musician and producer Jon Hopkins. Off the back of his sixth studio album, Music for Psychedelic Therapy (2021), Hopkins’ set generated a veritable dance party. An open-air nightclub that had thousands dancing to his genre-fusing tunes. Although he was dwarfed on the massive stage and barely noticeable amongst the black drapes covering instruments, his music did all the talking. Hopkins’ hour-long set consisted of electronica and was accompanied by an impressive light display. His performance would have been better served after dark to feel the full effect. Nevertheless, it was a delight to experience and the ideal “warm-up” to the main event.
As the summer sun set, its warm yellow and orange hues spreading across the cloudless sky, the intro to Make It Happen signalled the beginning of a phenomenal two-hour show. RÜFÜS DU SOL – Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt – sat atop three elevated platforms. The ten thousand-ish-strong crowd were assured of seeing the trio no matter where their vantage point was.
They powered through Eyes, and You Were Right before welcoming us. “It’s good to be back in Adelaide. Three years is too long,” said Lindqvist. It was too long. But this show made up for lost time and then some.
The darker Devotion and On My Knees ramped up the intensity. The lighting, carefully curated to complement each song, switched from white to vibrant red. It was wild!
With a comprehensive discography behind them, selecting songs to play live can be complicated. RÜFÜS DU SOL resolved the issue via unique compositions that combined two. In the first of a pair of such arrangements, we heard the intro to Tonight, a classic from 2011’s Atlas, bleed into Like an Animal. Brighter followed before a Sundream/ Be With You mix lifted already high spirits.
The full version of Make it Happen was a crowd favourite. Truthfully, we were easily pleased. The set list was fantastic, the lighting show was spectacular, the atmosphere was electric.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. As Surrender echoed across Ellis Park/ Tampawardli – ‘’Let the rain come down/ Let the rain come down/ Open up the sky/ Let the rain come down/ Let the rain come down/ Shower, shower me in love’’ – a confetti bomb exploded. Glorious perfectly describes it.
Next To Me, See You Again, New Sky, I Don’t Wanna Leave, Solace, Underwater, Always, and Alive saw everybody dancing and singing along. Then the undoubtable highlight of the night occurred. Innerbloom.
It is difficult to describe the experience of hearing this song live and give justice to its beauty. So, I won’t, other than to say it was extraordinary and emotional.
The encore of Treat You Better and No Place brought the show to a joyful and confetti-filled conclusion.
RÜFÜS DU SOL has come a long way in their twelve-year career. From playing in tiny clubs across Australia to winning Grammys on the world stage, Lindqvist, George, and Hunt have remained humble. They expressed gratitude to the people of Adelaide/ Tarntanya with genuineness. And the people of Adelaide/ Tarntanya returned the sentiment the best way we knew how. Loudly!
Live Review By Anita Kertes