Ruel is a guilty pleasure. Young boys singing pop just makes you feel younger – it’s as simple as that. Unbridled love and the coming-of-age themes make the 11 year age difference feel extra nostalgic. Last Sunday night Ruel was the headliner for one of the shows in the Factory Summer Festival run that is finally making Perth feel like it’s come alive again.
Working one’s way down through the venue, the big outdoor terrace at Metro City had undergone some major theming with high top tables and lounges to appreciate the amazing views of Perth’s CBD skyline, making it perfect for a chilled-out drink before the big event. For those who preferred to get into a party mood, there was also a silent disco on the second floor that had punters screaming Avril Lavigne bangers at the top of their lungs. The main stage hosted Elise Keddie, a local DJ, playing some Crooked Colours and Glass Animals vibes to slowly warm up the dancefloor. Unfortunately, watching her leave straight after her set made it feel like she didn’t really want to be there and could have been seen as a little disrespectful for the artist she was supporting.
Finally, at exactly 10pm Ruel appeared on stage to hundreds of screaming girls in true Beatlemania style. So the big question, does he sound as good as he does on the radio? The answer is no – he sounds better! Ruel and his band started the show with a big bang through one of his rockier songs, Courage. After the first couple of tunes, he started to play some guitar while singing and the crowd was eating it up. From the beginning it was noticeable that he has a very strong fan base, most of whom know the lyrics to all the songs. Ruel also had an overwhelming sense of confidence that taunted and teased the crowd with each song. Even though the audience was mostly young girls, it was lovely to see some guys in the crowd who danced throughout the whole set and obviously had the best time.
Throughout the concert, Ruel really connected with the audience. He sang a new, unreleased song along with the announcement of a new album for 2021. At one point Ruel recognised his background singer Nadia’s birthday, so the crowd got a special treat hearing him sing Happy Birthday. After that, he “finished” his concert with Younger before waiting for an encore to end with the song that shot him to stardom, Painkiller. Everyone knew the lyrics to the closer, and they danced and enjoyed the last few minutes of Ruel and his band.
All in all, Ruel at Metro City was an amazing evening, with happy, low key people. Kicking off the concert at 10pm on a Sunday night wasn’t ideal for some, but in judging how young the majority of the audience was, it might not have been an issue. It was the kind of show where everyone would happily have done all over again. As a boy with that voice and that kind of confidence, how could you not want more? See you next time Ruel, Perth loved having you!
SELINA STERKER & MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES
Photos by Mia Campbell-Foulkes