Rufus Du Sol, Like a Saturday on a Tuesday at The Armory

Photo by Ben Allen

Rufus Du Sol brought all the feels and love that accompany their music at the Armory last night.

Rufus’ wide-ranging taste in music is commendable. They’re great DJs and consistently push great new artists on their DJ mixes. They also enlist a variety of help to remix their work. It’s not surprising, then, that they’re very good at selecting openers for their tours. This stop’s opener, Paraleven, was no exception. 

Photo by Ben Allen

I was surprised in my pre-show listening to learn that the song “Lucid” is in fact Paraleven and is sung by Nathan Ball and not Tyrone. I would have bet (and lost) money on that it’s a Rufus song. 

Paraleven has also released music on Lane 8’s label, This Never Happened, which is another source for great new music, if you happen to be in the market. 

Their set was largely what you’d expect from a laid back softer electronic sounding dude…until it wasn’t. About 3/4 of the way through, he dropped into something filthy, the crowd perking up as it washed over us. It was like a dog whistle, but with choppy synths in place of a high-pitched whine. 

It was a moment definitely worthy of an, “Okay, I see you!”

One respectable moment later, Rufus took the stage. 

Me and Rufus go way back. Here’s a list of #RufusFacts that I hope will explain my connection. 

  • I initially learned about Rufus from a friend who was serving time in prison, and discovered them in the incredibly limited (or so I thought) music database available to federal prisoners. 
  • I saw them at Electric Forest 2015 with that same friend after they were released and we cried, like a LOT. 
  • The next night at EF, following their stellar DJ set at the Grand Artique, we struck up a conversation with the guys, who showed interest in our jellyfish totem. They told us that the name of their album, Bloom, was taken from the name for a group of jellyfish. 
  • Somebody threw out a bunch of balls and we all played dodgeball.
  • I had media passes for Coachella 2017, where Rufus played a regular set, then I caught them again at the fabulous DoLab stage for a DJ set and I actually got to stand on stage with them. It was incredible. 
  • Locally, I’ve followed them to the Fine Line, First Avenue, and now the Armory. Do you think they’ll play the Xcel next time around? 

Hey, Ben, this is about Rufus Du Sol, not you. Get with the program. 

Photo by Ben Allen

Rufus Du Sol played with a lot of heart, with emotions exposed to the world, and with a heavily upgraded lighting setup. Their individual risers certainly fit onstage better than they did at First Avenue. 

Tyrone did the thing where he wanders around and communes with the whole crowd. Juan remained at his synth station, beaming his million dollar smile throughout the show, and John peered out from his drums, all business with the occasional flair of the drumstick. God, I sound like a stalker, don’t I?

Photo by Ben Allen

My one complaint about the show is the sound. The higher range sounds were noticeably louder than the rest of the mix, which detracted from the experience a bit. It wasn’t distorted or outright painful (god bless you, ear plugs), but things like the pre-recorded backing vocals dominated the sound. 

All in all, it was a solid night of music, especially for a Tuesday. If you ever want to see my trust issues bubble right up to the surface, say something about the crowd being the best one on the tour so far. As a rule, I never believe that unless it’s the first night of the tour. Yes, even if we have a history, even if we swapped dodgeball hits. 

Photo by Ben Allen, low-key stalker

Written by Ben Allen

I tell the story of the energy transfer between people who play music and that music's listeners. I photograph and write about festivals and concerts, which I've attended for three decades. I'm also the tall guy you probably got stuck behind at a show. First concert: Nirvana at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Dec 1993. Yes, I am old. Tall and old.


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