- 24 May 19
Walking On Cars returned to Ireland last night, after a stint touring Europe. It turned out to be a triumphant occasion for the band from Dingle...
The combination of bootcut jeans and brown loafers is the outfit of the occasion, as Walking On Cars prepare to hit the stage in Dublin's 3Arena. Dedicated fans bustle to the front of the hall, cheering loudly when the lights dim and Hollow Coves kick-off the show.
The supporting act anchors a delightful performance by playing favourite songs such as ‘Coastline’ and ‘The Woods’. The band’s Aussie charm captivates the audience, and at the end of their set, they're met with applause that feels as genuine as it is enthusiastic. Their sound is distinctive, while still being similar enough to Walking on Cars to energise the crowd in anticipation of the Kerry band.
Patrick, Sorcha, Paul and Evan emerge onstage just after 9pm and immediately burst into song, a mass ripple of excitement spreading throughout the 3Arena. From the outset, drummer Evan Hadnett’s skills are to the fore, the pumping percussion mirroring the exhilaration of the fans, as the music gathers momentum.
There's a patriotic spirit embedded in their first live show in this part of Ireland since returning from Europe. Patrick dons a paddy cap and the smile in his voice tells you he’s happy to be home. His rough vocals sound as good - if not better - live, compared to the band's recorded work.
The visuals that accompany the music are stunning, with images of the sun and snow as a backdrop, flashes of different colours in the lighting, and smoke billowing across the stage to create the feeling of being caught in a strange vortex. When they perform 'Coldest Water', the cool colour tones send chills up and down the spine. During 'Tick, Tock Ready', clocks that are counting-down litter the screen, contributing to the intense vibe of the track.
Patrick thanks the support act, the crew of the 3 Arena and, of course, the fans. He bellows a “Go raibh maith agat” and the crowd enthusiastically returns the phrase. With that, they launch into their show-stopping 'Speeding Cars', electrifying the entire audience from front to back of the gigantic arena. Confetti descends into the standing area, there's a fade-to-black, and the crowd cheers wildly.
Just as you think the concert has drawn to a final close, they reappear. This time Patrick is strumming his own guitar, adding to the impact. After a repeat of the final chorus, it really is time for Walking On Cars to exit. The band gives a final bow and Evan dishes out his drumsticks.
Before I leave, I see a young child in a Walking On Cars t-shirt, running back to his mother clutching a long string of confetti in his hand, a smile plastered across his face. In a way, this heartwarming scene encapsulates the mass appeal of the band from Dingle. Without ever having to temper their sound or cultivate a "family friendly" image, they are loved by all ages.
Walking On Cars are a very special Irish phenomenon. On tonight's evidence they will run and run...