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The Rubens, Forum Theatre Melbourne – 15/09/12

Written by Alice Juster on 16th September, 2012

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On their biggest headline national tour to date, Sydney indie rock band The Rubens (brothers Sam, Elliot, Zacc and friend Scott Baldwin) took to the stage at a sold-out Forum in Melbourne last night.

After forming in early 2011, The Rubens have had a dream run. They scored the triple j unearthed slot at Homebake 2011 and their home-recorded debut single, Lay it Down, hit #57 on the 2011 triple j 100. They played to a packed-out tent at Splendour in the Grass 2012 and their wildly anticipated debut album (released on Friday) hit #2 on iTunes. They were the feature album on triple j last week and the single My Gun was up for MTV’s most wanted clip. Needless to say the hype surrounding this soul-soaked indie rock band will only grow, and the boys still seem a bit overwhelmed by it all.

The Rubens sound has been linked to bands such as The Black Keys and Cold War Kids, and there are elements of Amy Winehouse beats. An extra bassist for live shows anchored the soul-drenched harmony of lead vocalist Sam Margin. Taking to the stage in a pair of skinny jeans, a white shirt and a velvet jacket, Sam won the hearts of every girl in the room with his insane good looks and James Dean swagger. I think I let out a little gasp when he first walked out.

Opening the show with The Best We Got, which is also the first track on the album, the band fired into an electric, raw and polished set. Playing through the album with a few thank yous here and there was almost all of the interaction the band had with the crowd. I can’t say I was disappointed though. Whilst I’d love to know more about these 3 brothers and their friend, I was equally as happy to just listen and enjoy the intimate experience of the music. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it.

With single My Gun better live than I’d ever expected, and a cameo appearance from their 17-year-old younger brother on drums, The Rubens are surely on their way to cementing their name in Australian music for years to come. They ended the first set with a jamming session followed by an unforgettable Don’t Ever Want to Be Found. After a quick break, the boys returned to the stage with Sam on keyboard for a truly beautiful Never Be the Same, proving how talented these guys really are. Returning to the mic with his guitar, Sam launched into their powerful final song and clear crowd favorite, Lay It Down.

The Rubens have been named as one of Australian music’s most exciting bands, and whilst the boys have endured nothing but success thus far, these guys still have so much more to give. With a hot debut album out now and a massive tour ahead, I can’t wait to see what’s next for The Rubens.

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