- Live Review
- 09 Dec 22
With pink cowboy hats dotted throughout the sold-out crowd at Dublin's 3Olympia, CMAT's opening night in the capital city could've been a cowgirl convention.
The crowd roars as Celine Dion's 'It's All Coming Back To Me Now' swells on the loud speakers, on Thursday, December 8 in the 3Olympia Theatre, serving as a red carpet for the country sensation, CMAT, to enter.
Clad in a western fringe shirt adorned in pink tassels and sparkly purple pants, pink cowboy hats rose in solidarity as the Irish sensation stunned the crowd with her powerhouse voice, captivating stage presence and lovable energy that shines from behind the microphone.
Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson - alternatively known as CMAT - has paved the way for a new wave of country music. The Irish singer-songwriter took to the stage like she had been performing her whole life, her charisma indescribably powerful from behind her cowgirl facade.
Her ground-breaking interpretation of indie-pop laced with country ballads makes her a force of nature: no-one else is doing it quite like CMAT.
Ahead of CMAT taking to the stage, the bustling crowd was treated to Irish singer-songwriter and longtime friend of Ciara's, Junior Brother, who captivated the audience with his unique vocals and soft, folk-woven acoustics.
Armed with nothing but a guitar and a stool, the Kerry native flexed his alternative-folk muscles with a series of original songs, including 'Hungover At Mass' from his 2016 EP Fuck Off I Love You and 'This Is My Body' from his newest project, The Great Irish Famine. Real name Ronan Kealy, the singer kept all eyes on him in a simple yet enchanting performance.
The energy at the 3Olympia Theatre in that moment was contagious, as the crowd drank in every lyric. CMAT gave it her absolute all with no sign of stopping, kicking her legs in the air like a rockstar while the audience screamed encouragements.
The Irish star launched into 'Lonely' next, which sent the crowd into a total frenzy.
If not for her comedic lure, CMAT is an unstoppable force of nature due to her incredible and honest song-writing abilities and unique voice. Although she has been touring around America and Europe for months, the country singer's voice range out clear and true, with a beautiful belt that was a privilege to witness in person. Despite all the jumping, dancing and kicking that came with every song, CMAT's voice stayed pristine and as gorgeous as ever.
Next came 'I Don't Really Care For You', which currently leads CMAT's Spotify charts with over four-million streams. "I just spent seven hours looking at old pics of me / Tryna pinpoint where the bitch began" the audience screamed in unison with the band. It was obvious that the performers were having just as much fun as the crowd, singing along to every song and dancing as much as their instruments would allow.
"I hope it's okay that this next one is a little sexy," CMAT teased, before the opening notes of 'Peter Bogdanovich' played out. The singer-songwriter kept true to her promise, flirtatiously eyeing the crowd while she strutted around the stage before ending the track with a slow split, flailing her legs in the air as she sang about coaxing a man to cheat on his wife.
Even with the slower songs, including two new songs she shared with the crowd, CMAT had endless energy devoted to the stage. It seemed like she could keep going forever if she wanted to, with her commanding voice taking up as much space as her outgoing jokes and relentless dancing. It gave the night the most wonderful tone, with the audience matching the country singer's enthusiasm.
It felt like everyone was happy to be there, not to mention proud of the Dublin artist for all she had accomplished.
Every audience member, regardless of age, was clearly a CMAT diehard fan. During '2 Wrecked 2 Care', everyone held up their fingers during the chorus as if it was planned: "Four hours sleep I'm grateful / Three hours sleep I'm skipping things / Two hours sleep I'm a hateful bitch / One hour sleep I'm the missing link between the living and the dead".
As 'No More Virgos' began, much like her performance at Electric Picnic earlier this year, CMAT brought out drag queens Viola Gayvis and Lavender to assist her in the bright, zesty track. This song took the top place of the most exciting part of the performance, the drag queens and CMAT dancing and singing together on stage while encouraging the audience to follow suit.
As an encore, CMAT brought Junior Brother back onto the stage to perform their 2020 holiday duet 'Uncomfortable Christmas' live for the first time. Their contrasting voiced flowed together perfectly, making for an intimate moment while snow fell outside the venue. The night was wrapped up with CMAT's biggest claim to fame, 'I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!' that had the entire theatre doing a two-step.
Perhaps one of the best live performers out there, CMAT blew the 3Olympia Theatre away with her raw wit and talent. It is safe to say that this is only the beginning of a prosperous career for the country artist, and one can only hope that she will one day get to be a true cowboy!