Aftermath Media, D-Man

Rufus, a lookback

Outside lands 2021 had all the familiar quirks. There was the logistical undertaking of coordinating urgent bathroom breaks. There were hats. Drugs. Bowls of ramen. And this year because of Halloween, more costumes than ever before. There were endless creative combinations, like Dumbledore getting down to Goth Babe or – tragically for me – my childhood hero, Obi Wan, drunkenly stumbling out of the woods with piss sprinkled all over his robe.

On Sunday night Rufus took the main stage – a band that we posted about in 2014 for their cover of Foals Over Booka Shade. At the time I was living in San Francisco and any show was fair game. Rufus’ Mezzanine set started like most shows on a Wednesday night – a DJ mixing together thumpy tunes, a few tequila sodas, and the anticipation of an unknown entity in the flesh.

Of course Rufus did not disappoint. And seven years later it was odd watching at Outside Lands thousands of yards back. I allowed myself just a few moments to scoff at the crowd around me and made some weird analogy to Rufus being bitcoin – I’d be fucking rich! But mostly I felt happy. These guys were always destined for the polo grounds, ladies on shoulders, and festival balloons floating into the night.


What people are really looking for in young artists is originality. I think that they are more interested in that kind of creative energy than in technical polish. It’s really about creating something that is totally mind blowing and unique and that represents you.

– Vincenzo Natali (from Breaking In)

Cue the music!