- 14 May 19
Dermot Kennedy opened his first night in the Olympia theatre with a stunning performance.
It’s no secret that we've witnessed an enormous burgeoning of talent emerging in the Irish music scene these past few years. Yet, there’s something particularly unique about Dermot Kennedy. With lyrics that can at once paint a beautifully abstract picture yet hit so close to home, he has captivated both Irish and international audiences. Having recently finished a tour of the UK, Dermot arrives in Dublin's Olympia Theatre to make his homecoming to a packed-out crowd.
With a self-titled song compilation that came out in February, Dermot’s songs are crafted in much the same way he performs - with an almost terrifying level of sincerity. Opening with ‘All My Friends’, the Dubliner comes on stage in a background of smoke and begins with a gripping level of intensity that he holds throughout the set. ‘Young and Free’ gets revamped for the night, with an electronic opening that eases into a softer piano intro, while ‘For Islands, Fires and Family’ proves a powerful moment for an audience sing-along. A number of new songs are played on the night also, including ‘The Corner’ and ‘Dancing Under a Red Sky’, both of which come as a welcome reassurance that there will be no shortage of material for Dermot to release in the near future.
There's a reverence about his set that is truly captivating and the enormity of performing on such a historic stage as the Olympia Theatre isn't lost on him (though it may have been on some of the crowd who begin chanting ‘Olé Olé Olé’ half-way through). Nevertheless, the few words he does speak in between songs are delivered with a degree of care that speaks volumes as to the specialness of the night.
Wielding a powerful live presence, Dermot has the ability to deliver raw bursts of vocals so powerful you’re surprised he’s able to go on with the song, then in the next moment, scale down to a softness mesmerising in its difference. It’s the kind of on-stage power that most musicians aspire to, and audiences count themselves lucky to experience. This proved to be a remarkable opening night.