- 09 Nov 19
Lovelytheband start off their first European headline tour with an emotionally charged show at Dublin's Academy.
"Man, I haven't had this much fun in a long time", Mitchy Collins, frontman of Lovelytheband, says at one point during their show at the Green Room of the Academy. Normally, I would shrug it off as a meaningless platitude that every act uses to make the audience feel special. This time, however, it felt very real and honest, and perfectly represented what this night was about: celebrating what you've been through and coming out much stronger in the end.
Lovelytheband actually have a very similar approach to songwriting as the 1975, in that they juxtapose impossibly catchy melodies and uplifting synth sounds with dark lyrics and serious subject matter in their songs. One of the best examples for that is the very danceable (a recurring theme in Lovelytheband's music) 'Pity Party' which deals with anxiety and includes lyrics like, "You're invited to my pity party / You see me smile, but I won't be happy / Balloons and tears here for everybody / 'Cause feeling sorry is my favourite hobby".
Songs like these work incredibly well at their shows as the predominantly teenage audience relates to the lyrics while celebrating vulnerability and imperfection. It creates a feeling of solidarity and belonging. "It's okay not to be okay. This mental illness shit, it's okay to have it. That means you're a fighter", says Collins, who himself suffers from depression and claims was in a very dark place the last time they played in Dublin as the support band for Lany.
When he realised that he couldn't live that way anymore he decided to do the unimaginable. "I started going to the gym, man. Do you know how fucked up that is?", he laughs. It paid off, though. "Now I feel happy and free and light", he declares and it really shows. The singer dances across the stage, jokes around with fans and genuinely seems to have a good time.
Of course, their uplifting-sounding songs also have great deal to do with the amazing and energetic atmosphere. It's just impossible not to dance or jump around to songs like 'Make You Feel Pretty' or 'Alone Time', the latter of which actually creates a tropical feeling on this cold November day in Dublin. Another song with a similar effect ("It's about falling in love in the desert.") is 'Coachella' with its catchy synths and summery vibe. Wearing his signature yellow-coloured sunglasses, Collins also looks like he just arrived from the famous Californian festival.
The frenetic atmosphere reached new heights when the band started to play the opening chords of The Killers' 'Mr. Brightside'. This song just works every fucking time. But Lovelytheband also have their own singalong songs. Cue 'Maybe I'm Afraid', which, with its fuck-it-scream-it-out-loud chorus, comes pretty close to that 'Mr. Brightside' energy.
Before they left the stage (only to come back to deliver two more memorable songs), Mitchy Collins took the time to thank the audience. After his emotional outpouring earlier that night these words seemed more truthful than ever: "We are here because of you. All we do is write songs and that's it. You give them life." He introduces their next, arguably most popular song, 'Broken', as "the one that's important", referring to its emotional but hopeful lyrics that so perfectly capture the energy of that night.
But they weren't finished yet. Lovelytheband returned to the stage with the delicate 'Everything I Could Never Say... To You' that – at first – created a more intimate vibe (Collins took his mic and walked through the crowd) before breaking out into an unexpected guitar-heavy instrumental.
They closed the show with 'These Are My Friends', a song that was basically written for moments like these. While singing along to the chorus, a sense of community came up once again, reminding everyone that they are not alone in this sometimes dark world. It was like the well-earned epiphany after an hour of your own pity party: this is not the end. And if it feels like it, Lovelytheband are here for you.