Fontaines DC – Vicar Street – Live Review – 08-12-19
by Killian Laher
The Fontaines DC have had quite a year. Their Dogrel album is topping end of year polls all over with its clever, catchy songs. There was barely room to breathe in Vicar St for the second of two sold-out shows.
I’m assuming most weren’t there for support band Warm Drag? Consisting of a keyboard player and a vampish singer, they played a set of robotic electro which had many in the crowd dancing. The lack of variety made the set drag (!) a little, even bringing out Carlos O’Connell from the Fontaines DC made little difference.
The Fontaines DC roared out of the traps from the start, opening with the anthemic Big. Chequeless Reckless allowed the band to stretch out a bit, the tight riffs evoking punk heroes of old.
Grian Chatten is one of the more curious frontmen. With shades of Liam Gallagher, he remained largely static initially. Not particularly comfortable on stage, when not singing he prowled back and forth, walking round in circles with barely a word to the audience. He didn’t need to, the crowd lapped up songs new and old. A disorientating Televised Mind was the strongest of the new material. A towering version of The Lotts provided a change in mood, with its dark, post-punk vibes translating well in a live setting.
Slower tracks like Roy’s Tune and Dublin City Sky connected well, but it was the faster anthems that really got the crowd going. Liberty Belle and a blistering Boys In The Better Land had the audience singing every word, and the set finished with a raucous version of Too Real.
The night felt like a culmination of a great year, perhaps the closing of a chapter? 2020 will be different, the venues and expectation will be… big. But it’s hard to bet against these guys.