Live Review: Rudimental @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – 9/06/2019
Words by Monique Matosic
The energy that filled Margaret Court Arena on Sunday night felt like it was enough to power the whole city. It was the last show of Rudimental’s ‘Toast to Our Differences’ tour and it sure as hell blew past every expectation that anyone could have had from these legends. It was an absolute fiesta of love, happiness and freedom.
The show began with special guest act Sneaky Sound System who promptly got the crowd into groove-mode. Miss Connie’s vibrant vocals gracefully charmed through the arena, magnetically capturing the fixated attention of everyone inside. Playing crowd favourites such as ‘Pictures’, ‘I Love It’ and ‘UFO’, Sneaky Sound System effortlessly built the atmosphere for what was to come next.
It was a brief period of darkness and suspense before the multi-genre London collective Rudimental flooded the stage with chaotic excitement. The crowd was welcomed with a shortened version of ‘New Day’, which seamlessly transitioned into ‘Right Here’, one of their earlier tracks from their 2013 album ‘Home’. It was clear from this moment that Rudimental knew exactly how to engage their audience. Everyone was floored by their greatness.
Slowing it down, ‘Not Giving In’ gave the crowd a chance to catch their breath – but not for long. When the beat dropped, everyone was instantly launched into a hypnotic rave, shouting along word-for-word. ‘I Will for Love’ soon followed after with soulful vocals and gracious harmonies.
Then a new sound was introduced in the first track played from the 2019 album in which the tour celebrates, ‘Toast to Our Differences’. Hosting a more reggae, dance hall kind of vibe, it was a number that everyone could wiggle along to. Then comes a trumpet solo, leaving everyone in awe of the musical mastery and ingenuity that Rudimental continues to surprise us with.
Next up was ‘Sun Comes Up’, another single that forms part of the new album but released a couple years back. The hook quite literally hooked the audience, who were belting out the lyrics like it meant everything they needed them to. At no point did engagement drop, it was only increasing. ‘Let Me Live’ confirmed that, which saw everyone up from their seats.
The next hour was a showcase of everyone’s individual talents and collaborative perfection. Hearing the audience chant ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ was something special, like a plea for unity that the ‘Toast to Our Differences’ album embodies. It couldn’t be a more relevant chant, and the emotion that took over the space was quite moving.
Rudimental were sure not to miss the other crowd favourites such as ‘Free’ and ‘Feel the Love’, where they walked off stage only for the crowd to call for more. “Everybody knows that we’re coming back but it’s cool”, says Piers Agget as they return the stage for their last two songs.
As the final show to their Australian tour, Rudimental wraps it up with one last rave along to the classic hit ‘Waiting All Night’. It felt like a battle of sounds, like a musical war wagered by each instrument to see who could make the crowd jump higher. By the end of the song, everyone looked exhaustingly satisfied. What we all just witnessed were incredible live performers that created a riveting atmosphere of pure freedom and love. It was nothing short of spectacular.