Xavier Rudd @ The Palace
The best thing about a Xavier Rudd concert is that everyone is so relaxed – half the crowd have had a few beers and get into the spirit by singing and dancing, and the other half have smoked a few joints and they just swivel their heads to the music.
The best thing about Rudd’s style is that it never really wavers from its roots, but it continually sounds fresh and inspired. He hasn’t drifted too far from the fast-paced one-man drum/guitar/didge/harmonica infusion that made him famous.
The most notable addition to his newest tracks is bird calls. For some reason they featured heavily in a number of new tracks. Not that it was a bad thing; it was just an obvious sound.
He opened with a big musical intro, hammering the drums and wailing on the didge in front of a red sunset background. The vibrations went through the whole room and lifted everyone’s spirits instantly.
The only thing that was really distracting was the guy standing on the side of stage painting, as it was hard to see exactly what he was painting. Ruddy later explained that the painting would later be auctioned, and the profit would go to a chosen charity. He’s a good kid.
The weakness of Rudd’s act is exactly the same as its strength, in the fact that it’s a one man show. While it’s impressive, it also means that he can’t do everything at once. To play one instrument means that he has to neglect another, instead of incorporating everything like you could with a supporting band.
While the crowd were supportive of his new material, it seems his older songs still had sentimental value. Everyone sang along for Let Me Be, Messages and his new-ish song Follow The Sun.
A strong-smelling smoke filled The Palace when he covered Bob Marley’ Buffalo Soldier, which was to be expected.
For the encore I was hoping that he’d end with a 20 minute version of To Let, like I’d seen before, but instead he came out with a couple of supporting guitarists for a new track. The supporting guitarists left after that and Rudd finished with the beautiful Bow Down and Spirit Bird.
BY CHRIS BRIGHT
LOVED: The super-relaxed (and probably stoned) crowd and their love for the music.
HATED: The one wanker who must have taken pills and was dancing and screaming like a complete bell-end.
DRANK: Melbourne cans.