Concerts are generally thriving affairs, but none so more than a Rudimental concert. I saw them open for Ed Sheeran in November last year and knew I had to go the next time they toured here.
They did come, on Wednesday night, and what a night it was.
We were right up the front, pressed into the barrier by the crushing crowd behind us. It was hot, it was all up in our personal space and the perfect set up for a mosh pit.
The show was opened by two New Zealand acts, after international singer Jess Glynne had a last minute cancellation. Sachi, the young electro-house duo and DJ set the Peacekeepers, set the tone for the night with their combinations of new house, trap, and Top 40 numbers. The crowd was revved up and wild.
Rudimental came on with drama and flair. Flashing lights, an eager percussion beat, and a constant chant of ‘Ru-di-men-tal’ built the crescendo to the moment the band burst on stage with flailing instruments and dance moves. And of course, hype-man DJ Locksmith (Leon Rolle) was there to keep the mood at an all-time high, expressing their love for Auckland, and how good it feels to be back on the ground after thirty hours in the air.
You’d think four different countries in just about as many days and a jump from Tokyo to Auckland would have them flat out. But their performance was the best it could be. They went straight for it with Right Here. And the crowd went straight for it with phones and arms in the air, moving to the beat.
Rudimental’s sound is very distinctive. Lyrics of love and acceptance dance on top of fast-paced urban beats. Surprisingly, but pleasantly so, it’s not cheesy. It’s also a bit of an eclectic mix of reggae, pop, house and funk (those saxophone and trumpet notes just bring a new life to the music). The combination works at any rate, if the constant pulsing of the crowd was anything to go by.
Although they performed a whole lot of hits, it was ‘bangers’ like Feel the Love and Ed Sheeran covers Bloodstream and Lay it on Me that really threw the crowd in frenzy. The already loud sounds turned near deafening. It was spectacular.
One of the songs I was most looking forward to seeing live again was Rumour Mill. Originally sung by Will Heard and Anne-Marie, two singers who often back Rudimental songs, they were replaced by Bridgette Amofah and Tom Jules who took over the main vocals for all songs. I’d heard them all at the Ed Sheeran concert, so although I was a bit down about Will and Anne-Marie not being there (as I love those two with Rudimental) I was not disappointed. Tom and Bridgette’s versatility and energetic vibe was infectious, and made for enthusiastic audience participation.
It was a great night, and despite the extended set with an encore performance of Waiting All Night (that just about blew the roof) I would have happily stayed for a few more hours of the show. What really capped it off though was going online the next day and seeing that trumpet player Mark Crown reposted the photo I took of him on his Instagram, crediting me and telling me it was a great photo!
What a way to end the experience! 100/10 would go again.