Biffy Clyro at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin – Review & Photos
Ireland’s past week of indecisive weather had me dreading an outdoor Kilmainham gig and following my first security ‘pat-down’ that I’ve experienced in a while, I was a bit thrown. By the time I arrived in the grounds of Kilmainham Royal Hospital to the sounds of You Me At Six, only the unexpected sun sustained any enthusiasm I had left. You cannot deny the You Me At Six fan base; they were there, albeit lost in a sea of merch-clad Biffy Clyro fanatics. Maybe their music is just lost on me but you have to question a band whose fan demographic largely revolves around teenage girls who then encourage the crowd to take their clothes off mid-set. While Little Matador appeared to have left a lasting impression on the crowd, Biffy’s own haka-like screaming intro made up for the gap since Little Matador’s set.
Opening with ‘Different People’, Biffy starts you off easy and then throws you head first into the deep end, showing you exactly what they are capable and reassuring you that they aren’t letting you get comfortable tonight. Throughout the set, just when you think you have a quietly intimate moment with Biffy Clyro, they hurl you back into the insanity of their tireless back catalogue. The setlist is predominantly made up of tracks from ‘Opposites’ and ‘Only Revolutions’ with some pre-2007 material thrown in to please the die-hards.
Unfortunately, the light set up was purely lost in the daylight that we were basking in. Though one of the best lighting rigs I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in quite a while, the strobe lighting loses all worth at Kilmainham. ‘Glitter & Trauma’s’ hand held strobe lighting began to look a little ridiculous in the setting sun, but somehow scantily clad Scots can pull this off.
Extra microphones are dotted around the stage to allow for Simon Neil’s rip-roaring energy. Throughout the set, he is constantly moving. Neil has the ability to fill the stage with just his own presence, something six members of You Me At Six failed miserably at earlier this evening. Bassist James Johnston equally holds his own and even their touring guitarist Mike Vennart leaves quite the impression.
With this ashamedly being my first Biffy gig, I have to admit the crowd themselves were really an experience for me. Everyone from the front-row back to the food-vans belted out lyrics word for word, as though they had meaning personal to each and every attendee.
It’s a pity that the crowd assumed an encore was coming and failed to provide the enthusiasm that the three-song encore warranted. ‘Mountains’ brought a thunderous end to a twenty song strong setlist that left me with a ‘need’ for the B-Sides album ‘Similarities’ that Biffy announced in an NME interview this past January. Scotland’s greatest musical export certainly didn’t disappoint and surely the rest of the crowd are anticipating a return date as much as I am.