December is, as always, the perfect time to look back at the year that was and some of the most memorable moments in2021. One of those highlights was Australian trio RUFUS DU SOL’s takeover of Los Angeles this past November.
The very amiable electronic group, who mix the mellowness and sensitivity of soft rock with infectious dance beats, call it emo electronic, celebrated their Surrender album with a stunning trio of sold out nights at Banc Of California, playing to more than 70,000 fans over the course of the Friday, Saturday, Sunday performances. The size and scope of the shows became a true event.
So much so that two weeks after the L.A. stand it was a badge of honor and conversation everywhere to have been at the shows. From dinners to stores, like CVS, people in Southern California could be heard talking about the massive light show and seeing songs such as “Sunbeam,” “Innerbloom,” “On My Knees” and more live with the energy and joy of the massive stadium crowd.
The shows were, by a huge margin, the biggest of the band’s brief headlining U.S. tour. They were the only stadium shows the trio did. Regional success, particularly in the unique market of L.A, is not unusual.
If you grew up in L.A. in the ’80s you remember fondly Oingo Boingo’s run of sold-out Halloween shows that over the course of a single stand could bring in 30 or 40,000 people. But talk to people in the Northeast, for example, and many hadn’t even heard of the Danny Elfman-led local legends.
But these RUFUS shows felt much more of Depeche Mode’s 1988 tour, when the U.K. band played arenas across the U.S. before wrapping up the tour with the iconic Rose Bowl show before 65,000 fans. While Depeche always remained bigger in L.A. than any other U.S. city they became consistent arena headliners across the country.
As mentioned, RUFUS’ L.A. run feels like that Depeche moment, where this is the beginning of the band’s ascent to the next level of stardom. The trio has already become consistent festival stars, from Coachella to appearances in 2021 at Outside Lands, Austin City Limits and Governor’s Ball. And watching the crowd on the Saturday night L.A. show sing along fervently with the back to back “Treat You Better” and “See You Again” in the middle of the set, the passion fans feel for the band’s songs is both clear and inspiring.
That was the most exciting and invigorating part of the show. As a true music lover it is always a joy to watch a band seize their moment and take the next step to stardom. I’ve watched it with everyone from Billie Eilish to the National. And this was RUFUS DU SOL’s opportunity, playing three sold-out shows at a L.A. stadium. They were clearly ready. And by the time the night wrapped up with “No Place” there was no doubt RUFUS DU SOL are electronic music’s newest superstars.