The Ruby Suns @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia

New Zealand duo The Ruby Suns have proved that the third time really is a charm. I had the pleasure of first seeing them perform this past Spring at the Barbary in Philadelphia following the release of Sea Lion. That night the venue, which self-proclaims it’s got the best sound system in the city, experienced many technical difficulties during The Ruby Suns’ set, causing the then trio a great deal of frustration.

I later caught the Ruby Suns opening Day 2 of Sub Pop’s 20th birthday party/music festival where the now duo also facially expressed their discontent with certain aspects of their performance. Everything sounded superb and the audience was totally into the performance, but Ryan McPhun and Amee Robinson would cringe occasionally. betraying a goof that went unheard by the crowd.

This past Sunday at the First Unitarian Church in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, the Ruby Suns played an outstanding set in between Pony Tail and Tilly and the Wall that McPhun, Robinson and the crowd were more than delighted with.

Ryan McPhun

The pair’s reverb-rich set featured exotic beats both synthetic and created by the Ruby Suns. Ambient and airy melodies remained grounded thanks to Robinson’s hot and pulsing bass lines. Despite the heat in the air conditioning-less basement of the Church, the audience, all smashed up against each other, danced frantically to the Ruby Suns’ funky sounds taking cues from McPhun’s non-stop energy as he obliterated his free standing floor tom.

A long standing joke in the concert world, someone in the crowd shouted “FREE BIRD!” during a brief pause as Robinson and McPhun prepared to play their last song. The request, perhaps a new phenomenon to the Down Under duo, caused McPhun to pause in bewilderment before saying, “Are you saying Free Bird? …We haven’t got any guitars.” He and Robinson then proceeded to finish out their refreshingly guitar-less set with nothing but infectious smiles on their faces.

Amee Robinson

Amee Robinson

You can catch the Ruby Suns on tour with Tilly and the Wall for another week. In November they head overseas with another PopWreckoning favorite, The Dodos.

Tour Dates:
Jul 31 – Paradise Rock Club / Boston #
Aug 01 – Mohawk Place / Buffalo #
Aug 02 – Mod Club / Toronto #
Aug 03 – Hartwood Acres / Pittsburgh #
Aug 05 – The Magic Stick / Detroit #
Aug 06 – The Abbey Pub / Chicago #
Aug 07 – Sokol Auditorium / Omaha, Nebraska #
Aug 09 – Daytrotter Session / Rock Island, Il.
Nov 14 – Point Ephemere / Paris *
Nov 17 – Nachtleben / Frankfurt *
Nov 18 – Headcrash / Hamburg *
Nov 19 – Voxhall / Aarhus *
Nov 20 – Loppen / Copenhagen *
Nov 21 – Knaack / Berlin *
Nov 22 – kropolis / Prague *
Nov 23 – 59-1 / Munich *
Nov 24 – Chelsea / Vienna *
Nov 25 – Stalker / Padova *
Nov 26 – Casa 139 / Milan *
Dec 04 – King’s Arms / Auckland
Dec 05 – Spectrum / Sydney
Dec 06 – Northcote Social Club / Melbourne (w/ Pikelet and AIH djs)
Dec 29 – Rhythm & Vines Festival / Gisborne

# w/ Tilly and the Wall
* w/ The Dodos

The Ruby Suns: website | myspace | Sea Lion review | live review | Sub Pop 20
Sub Pop Records: website

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