Fontaines D.C. – Iveagh Gardens – Live Review
by Killian Laher
One might call this a sort of homecoming. Although the Fontaines D.C. are currently living in London, Dublin feels like their natural home and if anything, with this gig being twice postponed, it meant anticipation was even higher than originally planned.
First up was Aoife Nessa Frances, an odd selection to support the Fontaines D.C. Sadly she and her band took a long time to get it together, cutting their set in half. With two keyboard players, a languid Emptiness Follows didn’t make much of an impression. An oboe made an appearance later but was lost in the open-air venue. They didn’t feature anything from debut album Land of No Junction, concentrating on new material. By the sound of it, she hasn’t gone disco! As the skies darkened, Wunderhorse took the stage. The band fared well in the rain as singer Jacob Slater and co rocked their way through tracks like Teal and Butterflies, livening up a venue that by now seemed very busy.
The Fontaines D.C. have had a meteoric rise, and it’s only by witnessing them live you can see how popular they are. Echoes of the Smiths as the band showered the audience with flowers before the opening track In Ár gCroíthe go Deo. Even the espresso martini drinkers went absolutely nuts for them, and the band could do no wrong from then on. Musically, Roman Holiday was an early highlight, with some excellent guitar work, though the focal point was frontman Grian Chatten. Chatting was something he did very little of, as he and the band by and large let the music do the talking.
Although there were plenty of selections from recent album Skinty Fia, their older material wasn’t ignored. There was time for a moody version of I Don’t Belong, and Roy’s Tune provided a bit of chilled-out loveliness. Chequeless Reckless saw the moshpit get into full flow, and they barrelled through Televised Mind, Too Real, accompanied by a sea of bouncing balls, and a dark and menacing Skinty Fia.
After rounding off the set blasting through Big, the band returned for mass singalongs to Dublin City Sky, Boys In The Better Land, and Jackie Down The Line. They ended the night with I Love You where the recorded version’s subtle guitar lines were rendered faithfully. To paraphrase Big, Dublin in the rain was indeed, theirs.
In ár gCroíthe go deo
A Lucid Dream
Sha Sha Sha
How Cold Love Is
I Don’t Belong
A Hero’s Death
Dublin City Sky (tour debut)
Boys in the Better Land
Jackie Down the Line
I Love You