Fontaines DC at The Dome
Tonight is a more intimate affair for the post-punk, Dublin five-piece Fontaines DC. Their last UK gig was in 2021 at the hangar-like Alexandra Palace (a venue suitably befitting a Grammy-nominated band with a stellar debut album, matched by an equally brilliant follow-up). There is understandably, therefore, a palpable feeling of electric excitement that tingles through the crowd prior to the band’s arrival on the rose-bedecked stage.
Frontman Grian Chatten seems to absorb this from the moment he steps into the lights, and it manifests itself in his trademark stalk and a vociferous vocal to match the bristling intensity of incendiary opener Too Real. It is a visual and aural trait that is characteristic of all their highlights tonight, as evinced in the prickly A Lucid Dream and the delectably brooding Hurricane Laughter.
Aside from the coruscating energy in their live music (something idiosyncratic of their live set), there is a wondrous clarity to the sound mix that means each syllable of Chatten’s vocals are as clear as the accompanying instruments. It means the crowd can learn the poetic lyrics of upcoming Skinty Fla tracks I Love You and Roman Holiday. While the latter, along with recent release Jackie Down the Line, seems more subdued in tone, the die-hards have no problems enthusiastically shouting the lyrics back at the band.
This customary fervour means the fans are baying for more even after the sublime set-closer A Hero’s Death – a song that is even more impressive, considering it has seemingly, though maybe temporarily, replaced the rowdily-received rambunctious garage-rock/pop delight that is Boys in the Better Land in ending proceedings. The audience’s raucous response to the three-chord hook even has the dour-seeming frontman breaking into a brief smile.
The crowd’s desire for more, though, is left unsated; but, that does not generate any disappointment.
The 60-minute, 14-song set does leave the night feeling slightly truncated, yet the gig is positive proof that there is so much to love about Fontaines DC. They have shown tonight (and will, no doubt, continue to confirm on their US and European tours this year) that they make for essential live watching and, even if the BRITs have deigned it unworthy of them to award the band a nod for any 2022 awards, integral members of the alternative post-punk stable of commercial music.
Photos: Patrick Gunning
For further information and future events visit Fontaines DC’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Jackie Down the Line here: