Blue Apollo rocks the Rustic

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Blue lights washed down on the members of Blue Apollo as the band took the stage at Dallas’ highly popular music venue and bar The Rustic. Gravel crunched under concertgoers’ feet and condensation dripped from the glasses of beer clutched in their hands as they turned toward the stage.

For lead guitarist Mitch Gruen, playing at the widely popular music venue seemed like a distant dream.

“The first time I went to The Rustic was with my mom when I was still in high school,” said Gruen. “She remarked that it would be really cool for me to play a show there. Back then, the idea of playing on that stage was just a lofty, distant dream. Yet here we are!”

The band played a full set for a packed house at The Rustic on Wednesday with all of the tables full of patrons and concertgoers collected in front of the stage and on the grassy lawn, swaying along to Blue Apollo’s music, some mouthing the words as others danced.

Opening with his clear tenor voice, lead singer Luke Nassar opened the show with his vocals and guitar, soon followed by the rest of the band. Mitch Gruen entertained the crowd with his signature hair flips and had the crowd holding up their hands to his powerful guitar solo during “Walls.”

“It’s definitely one of our new favorite places to play,” said Nassar. “We had a lot of fun with everyone and are looking forward to playing there more in the future.”

Jeremiah Jensen kept the band steady with his crisp yet passionate performance on the drums while Rodman Steele provided solid support on bass and backup vocals. Not to be forgotten is Grant Wolf, who contributed to Blue Apollo’s signature style with his flawless execution on the keyboard.

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The five SMU students performed at the local Rustic bar. Photo credit: Katie Butler

“Playing at The Rustic was amazing,” says drummer Jensen. “I think it was our biggest show yet—even bigger than the record release we had at The Door.”

After chants for an encore, the band played their final song, a cover of “Superstitions” to a clapping crowd. However, it took years of preparation to get Blue Apollo to where they are today.

After lead singer Nassar and drum player Jensen began collaborating in the summer of 2014, the Dallas-based band, later named “Blue Apollo,” began to take shape. With the addition of Gruen on lead guitar, Steele on bass, and Wolf on the keyboard, the band, all five of whom are SMU students, was formed and began to make waves in the Dallas music scene.

Blue Apollo is no stranger to the Dallas music scene, having had numerous performances all around the city, including shows on the SMU and UNT campuses, at Deep Ellum’s The Prophet Bar, Tutta’s Pizza, the Liquid Lounge, the Curtain Club, and at other popular music venues.

The band released their EP “Light-Footed Hours” in the spring of 2016, complete with five of their singles and their ever-popular hit “Walls,” available for listening on Spotify. The band recorded the EP in Austin, working throughout winter on the release.

Look for their upcoming performance during SMU Family Weekend on Sunday, Sept. 25.

For more information, follow their Twitter or visit their Facebook page.

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