Yorke & Ruel @ Astor Theatre in Perth, Western Australia
Review & photography by Sethen Sheehan-Lee
A sizeable crowd had gathered outside the Astor Theatre hours before the doors were scheduled to open. Many passers-by were intrigued by the mass gathering of teenagers asking, “Who’s performing tonight, and why are there so many people here?” as the crowd thickens deeper along Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley. The cause of this mass gathering is the up and coming singer/songwriter Ruel. He is currently far from being a household name but steadily becoming the next big pop star in the Australian music scene.
Inside the venue support act, Yorke hit the stage, clearly impressing the crowd before her. Yorke’s indie-pop style was the perfect warming up the large crowd needed, showing remarkable vocal ability throughout her performance. Any great live show is built on fantastic songwriting and several of Yorke’s songs caught the crowd’s attention and despite being unreleased fans were still singing along. My only complaint about Yorke’s set was that it seemed too short, filling a 30-minute time slot and definitely left the audience wanting to hear more.
Ruel’s fans were already loud and excited before the show had even started when the introduction to his set began the anticipation turned up a notch. Throughout the gig, Ruel had an amazing stage presence balancing running and dancing around the stage while singing. On several occasions during the night, Ruel even pretended to collapse on the stage, adding some lightheartedness to his performance.
Ruel’s backing band definitely deserves mention as they were fantastic and added to the overall live experience. It was clear the fans also had a great affection for the band as they were calling them out by name during their performance. A particular stand out was their drummer who showed off his skills with a drum solo during Ruel’s cover of “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd. As much as Ruelis the center of attention during his live show, I think having an incredibly talented backing band adds another layer to any live show.
With Ruel at this his big age of 16-years-old his songwriting about heartbreak, mental health, and depression. People will comment that he wouldn’t have a true understanding of these themes due to his age, but his songwriting is derived from his lived experiences and singing them to young people who are experiencing the same things. The world has changed and Ruel’s part of a new generation of younger musicians who are singing about topics that actually affect young people. I can tell his music has come from a place of authenticity representing his personal experiences.