- 15 Oct 19
"Dublin is the place to be on a Monday night. This is so much fun."
Normally, I'd dive right into the good stuff – the main act – but the support acts deserve an honourable mention for a particularly brilliant first hour last night. Baby faces aside – they're only 18 after all – Kilkenny four-piece The Wha proved their breakout into the Irish pop-punk scene is only just beginning. The two singles they've released so far landed well with the crowd, but rest assured the new songs they played will continue raising the bar. Prepare for all hell to break loose once the song – is it called 'God Knows'? – is dropped.
Equally great were Pillow Queens, who never fail to impress with their live shows. Emitting badassery with every note, strum, and beat, the ladies put on a captivating set. The singalong for 'Rats' was unsurprisingly the highlight, but the electrifying build in 'Gay Girls' was a close second. The "END DP" note written in electrical tape on one of their guitars was a welcome touch as well.
It's rare I feel fully satisfied with a gig after just the support acts, but these bands were plain fantastic. Dare I say, the best part of the night?
Of course though, Two Door Cinema Club weren't half bad either.
With pints of Guinness awaiting them on stage, red and blue lights color-blocked the stage and the opening synths of 'Talk' boomed through the theatre. Screeches of the most devoted of fans rang loud as frontman Alex Trimble and Co. took the stage. Awkwardly spaced about as far away from each other as possible, the lads meandered – or in the case of guitarist Sam Halliday, moonwalked – across the stage throughout the set. Every once in a while, bassist Kevin Baird went wild and jumped up on the drum kit stage.
Sitting down with Hot Press's Peter McGoran this summer, Baird confessed that after the band's last touring cycle, he wasn't sure they'd continue. "We didn’t know whether we were going to be a band at the end of it," he admitted. "We stood back at the end of that tour and said, ‘You know what? That was fun’. We enjoyed the gigs. We enjoyed the album. We enjoyed spending time together."
Lucky for fans, the lads pulled it together for another critically-acclaimed album, False Alarm, and are gracing the Olympia stage not once, but twice, this week due to demand.
Those fans showed their gratitude in the only way Gen Zers know: digital glamorisation. At many times, many of them seemed fully unaware that the show was available for viewing with their own two eyes rather than through the digital medium that is a cellphone camera. Hell, my job may be rendered useless if the rate at which people record concerts continues like this... just check Instagram (or TikTok? Is that what that's for?) for the entire gig instead.
Watching Halliday's fingers dance up and down the neck of his guitar à la August Rush while moonwalking to the beat in 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' was truly a marvel. And the brilliant four-part harmony on 'Come Back Home' is a feat unmatched by the track and striking to witness live.
Eventually, the lads seemed to convince the crowd that they deserved their undivided attention with danceable electro-bops like 'Eat That Up, It's Good For You', 'Something Good Can Work', and 'Sun' to close out the set. Even the people way back in the nosebleeds were up and bopping along. Though, how they lasted over an hour in their seats with such catchy tunes is beyond me.
Somewhere in between, Halliday took a rare moment to address the crowd.
"Dublin is the place to be on a Monday night. This is so much fun," he said, cracking a smile. "Like without you guys, it's just us playing some songs, so you've really made it tonight. Thanks so much."
Two Door Cinema Club with The Wha and Pillow Queens play again tonight at The Olympia Theatre and tomorrow night at The Telegraph Building in Belfast.