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Tribute gig in Dublin
Sometimes at tribute gigs, the air is heavy with the sound of befuddled musicians hammering out half-learned covers, in an effort to be heard over the cacophony of fans trying to outdo each other with tales about ‘back in the day’...
Tanya Sweeney, 08 Jun 2004
Sometimes at tribute gigs, the air is heavy with the sound of befuddled musicians hammering out half-learned covers, in an effort to be heard over the cacophony of fans trying to outdo each other with tales about ‘back in the day’.
In this case however, we’re talking about the Man In Black here – or as Maria Doyle Kennedy would aptly describe him, “the most gorgeous, coolest musical da you could ever wish for”. In addition, Dublin’s rock cognoscenti certainly have had enough practice at perfecting the art of the tribute show of late. At this gig, and as happens at the best tribute shows, an impressive array of artists bind together to celebrate the legacy of a proper legend, resulting in an uplifting, if slightly bittersweet, evening of celebration. With such a supremely majestic legacy to fall back on, the (surprisingly diverse) line-up of Irish talent couldn’t really go far wrong.
It was always going to be interesting to hear Cash’s catalogue (songs about heartbreak, love, addiction and all that’s in between) as reinterpreted by the likes of Alphastates, David Kitt and Maria Doyle Kennedy. Like the original repertoire, the highly spirited evening is both feel-good (with up-tempo bands like Bray Vista and The Walls raising things up a notch) and softly morose (as artists like Ann Scott and Colm O Snodaigh recreate Cash’s gospel alchemy). Arguably, the high point of the evening was O’Snodaigh’s roof-raising Irish re-working of ‘Everywhere Man’, complete with a wry nod to Christy Moore’s ‘Lisdoonvarna’.
All in all, it was the perfect opportunity for Cash fans to revisit an old friend, and for the rest of us, it was a hugely fitting way to fondly remember one of country rock’s real royals.