- 28 May 02
What on paper could have a some sort of post-modern Raggle TaggleFest 2002, turned out to be one of the most moving celebrations of friendship and music this city has ever seen
As the Bank Holiday protest erupted into the full swing of a truncheon, a (slightly) more sedate but equally as committed gathering thronged to the Castle to soak up the songs and bonhomie of Mundy, Bell X1, Damien Rice, late addition Paddy Casey and of course, the real stars of this Green Energy Festival and everyone’s favourite explosively emotive troubadours, The Frames. What on paper could have a some sort of post-modern Raggle TaggleFest 2002, turned out to be one of the most moving celebrations of friendship and music this city has ever seen. Which is what we’ve come to expect from The Frames.
No other band in Ireland are quite simply this charged, effective and touching live, and at that, very few anywhere else. At times tonight, I’m reminded of Radiohead performing material from The Bends, as they share that rare and powerful gift of turning intensely personal emotion into collective cathartic euphoria. ‘Santa Maria’, the most distinctive and special track on For The Birds, spreads its cacophonous epiphany like the wings of a phoenix over the spirit of Egon Schielle. The angels are still circling overhead as ‘Star Star’ segues into Mic Christopher’s ‘Listen Girl’, climaxing in the rallying lovecry of ‘Heyday’. Super-8 footage of dear Mic, the man with the cap and a warm smile, intensifies the moment for his many friends and fans present. But tonight’s prevailing mood is as celebratory as it is mournful, as Dublin Castle salutes a hero’s spirit which is alive and well and radiant in every single smile and whoop for joy.
‘Debaser’ leads a quick rush of noisy encores with Joe Doyle doing a remarkable stand in job for Kim Deal. Mundy and Damien Rice join in for one last blast through an exquisite ‘Red Chord’ (with Glen’s little brother running off blushing!). We’re left delirious and reeling, amazed and beaming with pride at how magnificent they now are, and indeed, how earth-conqueringly brilliant they could become. For now, The Frames are among the most extraordinary live magicians alive.