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Photos By Emily Cohen, Words By Clarissa Villondo

The Hamilton is gorgeous and so was the stage setup for Grouplove and The Rubens. Grouplove mentioned they wanted to find a non-traditional place which wouldn’t be a normal venue. Sure, rock bands have passed through The Hamilton, including BYT’s Super Sampler Volume 1 back in April, but I’ll give them that the Hamilton isn’t the most conventional. Sitting down and eating dinner while watching an acoustic performance by Grouplove and The Rubens doesn’t sound like a normal concert.

Everyone knew Grouplove’s performances were going to sell out and sold out shows, especially ones at The Hamilton, are the ones where I wish I wasn’t 5’1” and I actually wore my glasses or contacts like I should be doing. If you had a white wristband, you got to stand by the bars, behind all of the people with the blue wristbands. Thankfully, the people with blue wristbands barely ever stood, if at all during the performances. Being the short little girl that I am, I only had to try to struggle my way through seeing the two acoustic performances past a row of people standing and my somewhat blurry vision.

The Rubens were the first to perform, starting off their nine-song set with drums and piano to introduce “The Day You Went Away.” I hadn’t heard of this Australian band before this tour, but I was quite impressed with their performance. Applause from the crowd in between songs and the amount of conversation during the set made it a bit obvious that the crowd just wanted Grouplove to get on stage. The Rubens’s small talk as they prepared for the next song was entertaining, at one point saying, “Too much wine, too much beer.” Never is there too much wine and too much beer, my friend. They ended their set with “Cut Me Loose,” which isn’t on the record, and “My Gun.”

 The Rubens

The band walks on stage with no stage lights on, a flashlight ensuring they’re not going to trip over anything on the way to their spot. Their acoustic set kicks off with “I’m with You” and  continues with “Itchin on a Photograph.” It isn’t what I thought it would have been. I imagined some sort of calmer show with acoustic guitars. That’s not what happened and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all.

Grouplove

With vocals and high energy, no one could mistake that it was a Grouplove show. “Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten” and “Hippy Hill” followed. In between songs, Hannah Hopper mentioned how they all dressed up except for Ryan Rabin, who then responded “At least I went to work today. The government didn’t.” Too soon, man. Too soon. The second “Tongue Tied” started, the crowd erupted with cheers, singing along, and then had them begging for “Colours, which rounded out Grouplove’s seemingly-not acoustic set.

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The Rubens

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