- 28 Apr 23
Starting off her 2023 Ireland tour for her new EP Berlin, AE MAK got people stomping their feet and moving to the music last night performing from Whelan's Main Stage.
Transformed by the white banners draped across the stage adorning the ceiling alcove above the crowd, Whelan's main stage for the opening night of AE MAK’s tour perfectly set the tone for her otherworldly act.
The room was already filling ahead of the London-based Irish opener act's appearance. When Constance Keane, better known as Fears, stepped out, it was a silent affair. Deftly taking the mic dressed in a poofy black tulle dress with her blonde hair pulled back, she started her set with her enchanting voice lifting the lyrics of 'Fabric.'
"Hello. Hi. I'm Fears," Constance introduced to applause. "I'm going to play a bunch of new songs tonight. This first one is called 'R.I.P.'"
Nodding her head back and forth, Fears' movements throughout her set were controlled and steady, dredging the music up from deep within herself. In a more contained style than what fans would experience from AE MAK, Fears extended her arms out no further than slightly above her sides before pulling in her hands and cupping them together in front of her heart.
"There are so many people out early. First of all, thank you so much to AE MAK for having me. We're doing three shows together over the next week. It's really, really exciting."
"I was going to curse, but ooh, heavens no. Is it past the watershed yet? No. This is called 'Fourth of the First' about a phone call I had on the 4th of January."
She then led into her single 'h_always,' one of the songs from her first album, Oíche, which dropped during the COVID pandemic. Using the stage as a sounding board for some of her newer music, she alternated between new tracks and old before finally finishing up with her 2022 single '16.'
Half an hour after Fears finished her set, a sonorous ringing announced AE MAK's set, compounded with a building keyboard and a pulsing drumbeat. When AE MAK took the stage, her haunting vocals carried her through the first track of the night.
Shifting gears to prowl the stage, her next song hailed from her new Berlin EP: the phenomenal, "tribal," dance song 'Bluer.'
"Oh, dreamer blue boy~"
"Hello!" She called, before starting the second song of the night. "Welcome."
Bringing her iconic, back and forth dancing groove to the Whelan's stage, she played through the next couple of songs with vigour and her beautifully haunting vocals.
"I can only love you, from the start!"
Between the flashing lights and mesmerising dancing, she inspired people across the crowd to dance in the space they had. Those in the front who, a step back from the stage, had a little more wiggle room, absolutely cut themselves loose - living the night up freely.
Met with resounding cheers from audience in response to 'I Dance in The Kitchen,' AE MAK opening the song hopping around her mic. With a few calls of "I love you!" from the audience, it was quickly followed up by 'Bluer's' Berlin track companion 'Baked Cheesecake.'
Despite the single only being out for a week, members of the crowd joined in for the chorus of the new track eagerly.
"Dragon queen since sixteen."
Their enthusiasm was quickly rewarded, AE MAK launching into the stunning and intriguing single 'Jamie,' all the while backlit by pulsing pink and blue lights, stretching her hands to the sky and rocking back and forth in beat with the song.
Not one to perform a track without a little flair, the golden light that bathed the stage at the start of AE MAK's following song quickly introduced a brilliant contrast with blue and orange lights switching off. Under the fluorescence of the lights, the vibrancy of her singing and the iconic energy of her active, arm swinging, body convulsing dancing, AE MAK cultivated an electric stage presence.
The energy only continued on as she led into the next track on the setlist, the first track of Berlin: 'Shimmer Boy.' Unable to be contained, the crowd writhed back and forth, taking dance cues from the magnetic woman onstage.
For her second to last song of the night, the Irish artist then pulled out the 2022 single 'Sun God, I'll Be Your Woman,' dancing in the tantalising red light and beckoning the crowd to sing along.
When the opening chords to 'New Friend' played, AE MAK was back on the prowl and fans were foaming at the mouth. Someone deep in the pit loud out a resounding "Ooh YEAH!" in excitement - clearly marking the single as a beloved favourite.
Anyone disappointed with the fact that AE MAK left the crowd wanting more at Whelan's last night should be excited to know that she has plenty of dates left on her tour, including a show in Galway tonight.
Check out Hot Press's recent interview with the Berlin alternative songstress AE MAK here:
Check out tickets for AE MAK's other performances across Ireland, starting at €17.50 here: