The Rubens were bold. They whipped and warped their Sydney crowd into a frenzy. Frontman Sam Margin’s multicoloured shirt shimmered as he rode an inflatable pool over fans’ heads, his makeshift boat teetering on a sea of hands. Cameras flashed, their light bouncing off the pool’s blue edges. The whole thing felt like an alt-Aussie musical rendition of Moby Dick.
The Ruben’s main support act, Mansionair, flung their otherworldly vocals into the ether during a sweet and soulful set, complete with an impressively subtle performance of Hold Me Down, but everybody smiled when it was time for The Rubens’ grooves to bleed into the venue.
The Rubens kicked off their set with The Night Is On My Side. It was a vivacious beginning to say the least, with Sam Margin ricocheting from left to right, firing away with the confidence of a master performer.
After covering Adele’s mega-hit Hello, the band smashed through My Gun, which included a mid-song appearance from word-meister MC Seth Sentry. It was a glorious pairing, with Sentry’s words tucking and turning with deftness and speed around The Rubens’ rock soundscapes.
Then came an extravaganza of songs with Lay It Down, Cut Me Loose and Hoops. Each of these songs had the crowd wagging their tongues, shaking rabidly and shouting soulfully. In the gaps between the music, Sam Margin talked about the band’s first play on triple j, and sincerely thanked everyone for making them the victors of the Hottest 100 of 2015.
It’s awesome to see how humbled and appreciative The Rubens are given their success. They evidently love their fans, and are genuinely grateful for everything they owe to them.
We love you too, guys. Thanks for everything.
Gallery: The Rubens, Mansionair, Slum Sociable – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 24.06.16 / Photos: Liam Cameron