Photos: Giulia McGauran and Scott Baldwin
We originally claimed that 2018 was bound to be a massive year for The Rubens, and we are delighted that they proved us right. The Aussie five-piece alternative rock band originally made headlines in 2015 when their breakout single "Hoops" took the number one spot atop Triple J's annual Hottest 100. Since the quintet's emergence onto the scene, they have gone both gold and platinum domestically, and their recent efforts saw the release of their long-awaited third album, 2018's LO LA RU. Featuring production from Run the Jewels producers and collaborators Wilder Zoby and Lil' Shalimar, it served as yet another phenomenal showcasing of The Rubens' distinctive sound that draws from the world of hip-hop and R&B to create a brand of alternative that is uniquely their own.
Your typical band would go on a small tour or maybe play a couple of gigs to support the release, but The Rubens is not your typical band. Embarking on a 46-date arena tour with pop icon P!NK throughout New Zealand and their native Australia, the band took LO LA RU to the masses. We were lucky enough to get an inside glimpse into what being on the road with P!NK looks like in this exclusive tour diary with The Rubens.
A daunting amount of seats in these places.
Will 'The Hog' Zeglis caught in a rare moment of surprise. Don't let the haircut and leather jacket fool you. He doesn't know how to ride a motorbike.
Watching our good mate Rob perform surgery on Zaac's guitar before a show. Without him the show literally could not go on, the man's a wizard. Tells good jokes too.
Gearing up to head on stage and open for the boss herself, Pink, and not nervous. Not even a little bit.
We're lucky enough to have supported some big artists like Bruce Springsteen and The Black Keys, but we've never been part of such a huge run of arena shows like this. Playing to a crowd of 18,000 every night is something else.
Clint, the man behind the mix. Bigger PA than most venues we get to play.
Being illiterate and terrified of paper cuts means we have to get adorable children to read to us. They're small so don't take up too much space in the green room and also you can pay them next to nothing.
In between soundcheck and showtime, there's a lot of time to kill and a pack of cards goes a long way. Here we’re playing 'Shit Head,' a favorite of ours. Whoever loses the game becomes the 'Shithead;' it's really that simple.
We're not afraid to rock our own merch, as shown here with Zaac wearing our 'LO LA RU' Soccer Jersey. You could get your own at therubensmusic.com, if you were so inclined.
On a day off we found a little German town outside of Adelaide called Hahndorf. Didn't meet any Germans but drank some big delicious beers which was lovely.
Here's Clint with a sizeable chunk of some animal. Before he became our beloved sound tech, he had every job under the sun: fisherman, samba instructor, karaoke host, you name it. The man's seen and done a lot, and we're lucky to have him.
Staying healthy on the road is all about balance. A beer or two today, an apple tomorrow. Chicken nuggets tonight, and cold pizza in the morning. Listen to your body.
Will getting good and limber before the set. God forbid the man pull a muscle on stage. Gotta align that chakra.
Zaac also aligning his Chakra. We're big on Chakras.
Sam always gives 100% of himself to the performance. As a result, everyday simple tasks can become confounding to him which is why we all chipped in and bought him these strap on shoes. No laces means less distractions. Less distractions means better performance.
Up close with vinyl copies of our new record 'LO LA RU' for the first time. So many months of hard work and love put into something, and then there it is in your hands, surreal.
Rug up folks, it's cold up there in the spotlight.
Janeva joins us to sing our newest single "Never Ever." She nails it, it's been a pleasure to share the stage with her every night.
Pink's drummer Mark giving Scotty a tour of his kit, a huge setup. He and everyone else on Pink's team are super lovely and go out of their way to make us feel welcome.
Will sharing a moment with Zaac in the distance. Very lucky to be able to call this our job.