- 30 Aug 19
Dermot Kennedy performed a stunning set in front of the biggest audience of the night.
It's been a while since Irish audiences have been as hyped about an album as with Dermot Kennedy's soon-to-be-released debut LP.
In fairness, it's also been a while since an artist has captured the attention to of audiences as well as the Dublin troubador, who boasts a sound which is as raw and intimate as it is powerful and expansive.
Even before the show started, it was clear that the stage was Dermot's for the taking. His ascendency over the past 12 months has been so rapid that everyone in Stradbally seems to pack in for his Main Stage set.
He starts the night with a shout out to Michael D. Higgins, with a backing track playing a speech from the President about creativity and art. It's an appropriate choice, considering that Higgins' speech is a shout out not just to a nation, but to artists in particular. It's a case of the President literally speaking for the performer.
This intro paves the way for 'An Evening I Will Not Forget', which suitably transmits all the raw energy that Dermot Kennedy had clearly been hoping for.
This is a set which is about showcasing his power as a vocalist. Many will have saved his music on their Spotify playlists, or booked tickets to see him perform at the 3Arena (two near sold-out arena-sized shows and he hasn't even had an album out yet), but there really is something particularly poignant about seeing him play live for the first time.
He sings like he's blindly ripped lyrics out of a notebooks and fed them into a microphone before he forgets the intensity that it took to write them. Nowhere is this more apparent than on one of the new songs he shares from his debut album, titled 'Cold'.
He gets the crowd suitably pleased with his rendition of 'Outnumbered'. Just before this song, he looks genuinely overwhelmed by the size and the response of the audience, which makes us give it all back to him even more.
He finishes the night with a series of songs which ring true with every single person in the audience. 'Glory' sounds as fresh as it did when it was first released; 'Power Over Me' has an abiding intimacy even in front of 20,000 people; and 'After Rain' - an early song from the Dermot Kennedy canon - serves as the perfect coda for the end of the set.
He's yet to release his debut album, but Dermot Kennedy has already left a lasting legacy for himself at Electric Picnic. We look forward to seeing what the future will hold for him.