After a year of success, including a new album and an impressive spread of festival performances, Australian sensation Rufus du Sol returned to Madison this Tuesday for a bright and energetic show at the Majestic. Despite it being a weeknight, the dance floor was packed and teeming with excitement. The minute the room went dark, cheers erupted as Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George, and James Hunt took the stage and greeted their Madison fans.
The band’s enthusiasm mirrored the crowd’s as they opened with “Brighter” off their newest album, “Bloom.” An already perfect opening song became even more fitting as Tyrone announced that the trio planned to bring the sunshine to Madison. The crowd joyously danced as Tyrone serenaded us with lyrics, “Can you feel the sunshine?” and indeed, the sunshine was felt. Although it was a dark November night, Rufus du Sol brightened Madison with a radiant energy that could rival the sun. Bubbly beachside beats reverberated through the room as the band flawlessly transitioned to “Sundream,” a popular hit off their first album. These first two songs set the tone for the rest of the night, and with modest but moody backlighting, deep beats, and entrancing vocals, Rufus du Sol brought the audience on a playful, yet powerful musical adventure.
As the trio spiraled through new hits and old favorites, their passion never dwindled and the crowd never stopped dancing. My personal favorite part of the night came toward the middle of the set when the band announced they were going to play an old song, but in a new way. Curiosity pulsed through me as I waited to hear which song they were going to play. Much to my surprise and enjoyment, it was my favorite song of theirs, “Desert Night” off their first album “Atlas.” The song opened with its usual upbeat desert beats that I love so dearly, but later took an intriguing turn as the band introduced a heavier and more layered set of sounds, including a killer drum solo. The song ended with deep, quirky synths that honestly reminded me of some psy-trance shows I’ve been to. It was a whole new realm for Rufus du Sol and revealed a more diverse range in their musicianship. Not only was the improvisation exciting, but it showcased the musical talent and knowledge of the artists, something that often gets forgotten with electronic music.
The night met its calmest point as Rufus du Sol took fans on the journey that is their longest and deepest song, “Innerbloom.” As the song progressed, I had that surreal experience where it feels as though time stops and your world is completely still while the world around you rushes by. As people bounced and danced all around me, I stood there quietly, just taking in the beauty of the song and the moment. I quickly snapped out of it as the funky guitar riff of “Like an Animal” filled my ears. The band danced and jumped around on stage while we all did the same on the dance floor. Although the energy was unbelievably high throughout the night, it reached its peak as Rufus du Sol closed with their top hit. Needless to say, the crowd begged for more, and it did not take long for the trio to come out for an encore. The two song encore consisting of “Take Me” and “You Were Right” was the perfect cherry on top of an already amazing and groovy show.
Rufus du Sol proved to be not only amazing live musicians, but engaging and energetic performers. I walked out of the Majestic immediately wanting to see them again, and my only complaint is that I think I would like their set even more at an outdoor festival. Their deep, but dreamy vibes seem like the perfect fit for dancing barefoot beneath the stars at a summer festival. Yet, they still were sensational in a small venue like the Majestic. With the recent success of Rufus du Sol and an intoxicating live performance, I’m sure they’ll only continue to grow, and I’m sure this won’t be the last Madison will see of them.
*Disclaimer: Part of this set list got deleted off my phone, so while the first 3 songs and last 4 songs are definitely correct, the order of the songs in the middle might be messed up, but they did for sure play these songs. Check them out!
Be With You
Say a Prayer for Me
Lose My Head
Until the Sun Needs to Rise
Like An Animal
You Were Right