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Live Review: Ruel Brisbane 2023

Headliner: Ruel
Opener: Forest Claudette
Date: April 14th 2023
Venue: Fortitude Music Hall
Reviewer: Mariyah Shahrin
Photographer: Mariyah Shahrin

Lines of people surrounded Fortitude Music Hall on Friday the 14th of April to see Australia’s most recent heartthrob, Ruel, who has gone off on the Australian tour for his first studio album 4TH WALL. Thankfully for us, he kickstarted the party in the heart of Brisbane! Proclaiming that this show has been his craziest show, Ruel didn’t hold back in starting his tour off with a bang.

Having been in the scene since 2017 and seeing his career jet set through Triple J in the same year, it’s no surprise that Ruel put on an incredible show for his loyal and adoring fanbase. Performing hits like I DON’T WANNA BE LIKE YOU, Painkiller, Sitting In Traffic, and Golden Hour, each song was well-received with continuous loud screams and fans singing along. He even gave the crowd a little treat by performing a short cover of One Direction’s Night Changes, only to cut it short after the first chorus and say, “Do you guys really think I’m gonna be playing covers tonight?”. I was pretty in awe at how good of a performer he is, in how much he has honed his artistry and the relationship he has with his fans even on stage. 

The stage was set up beautifully with trees, plants, snow-like confetti and matching outfits between him and his band. Although Ruel’s energy and charisma was more than enough to put on a good show, the set-up of the stage tied the whole thing together, adding another layer to how much thought was put into the entirety of the show. It was as if they made sure to make the experience more than a standard gig you’d go to, and more like an entire production.   

That being said, Forest Claudette was a phenomenal choice to open the show! Although he only performed in front of a plain black stage curtain (no spoilers for Ruel’s set!), this allowed the audience to truly focus on Forest’s artistry on stage. Safe to say the crowd was blown away regardless. Performing songs like Creaming Soda, Mess Around, Hologram, and a couple of new ones, Forest was mesmerizing to watch on stage in the way he connected to his own music, the atmosphere of the crowd and the way he flowed on stage — I remember thinking to myself, “If I ever saw a Renaissance painting move in real-time, it’d be that”. Encapsulating a flawless mix of soul, R&B, and pop similar to the likes of Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy, it was easy for Forest to fill the venue with his eloquent energy. The first show of the tour seemed to be a sentimental one for Forest as well, as he reflected on performing at one of the smaller venues and rooms around the Music Hall only a year ago. 

It was a stunning show from start to finish! From Forest’s ethereal spirit to Ruel creating such a beautiful atmosphere, it’s safe to assume fans got more than they bargained for from the show.

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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