Delorentos At The National Concert Hall – Review & Photos
‘Thank you for making such a large venue feel so small and intimate’, the final words of Kieran McGuinness, frontman of Delorentos, as they finished their acoustic set in the National Concert Hall. Indeed, they had made the immense space of the concert hall feel as cosy as the main room in Whelan’s, their charisma and honesty as they performed was infectious and filled the venue with a sort of homely atmosphere. Then again, their ‘Home Again’ tour has been received with many favourable words, the band has stripped back their entire performance to the barest of bones and it still works for them. Without the shriek of guitars or the usual elements of alt-rock that they proudly display during their shows, one could only focus on the lyrics and vocals during tracks like ‘Forget the Numbers’ and ‘Secret’, and they were very much perfect as standalone elements.
The intimacy that the band spoke of at the end of the show was something magical, a theme that persisted throughout; there was a personal element to every song, an anecdote or tale, and it was clear that this was a cathartic tour for the Dublin boys. For the crowd favourite, ‘Pertardu’, McGuinness spoke of his adoption, his curiosity regarding his biological parents, and using this song as a means of envisioning their past. Immediately, one was plunged into the mind-set of the singer, the poignancy of the song became far more prevalent, and there was an emotional weight to it as the singer bared his soul on stage, demonstrating just what went into his songwriting process.
However, the boys had already admitted that the hardest part of this tour was arranging a setlist and choosing from their, what they feared was a ‘pretentious term’, back catalogue. Yet, the reality is that Delorentos have a rich array of tracks to choose from; they’ve perfectly crafted this musical arc of emotions that brings the audience on an expressive and passionate trip that is both relatable and striking. Tracks such as ‘Swimmer’ and ‘Bullet in a Gun’ became part of this rich mosaic, one in which the band were able to reflect on their growth as musicians and people, the personal stories and memories marked the importance of this tour, not only for fans but for the boys themselves as well.
Almost coming full circle, they brought the brilliant The Young Folk, and, as the bands united and performed ‘Home’, one could almost sense the camaraderie between the performers. It was electrifying to see both acts combined and emphasised the brilliance of home-grown music. Delorentos have had their own fair share of tribulations in the past, so to not only see them perform to such an immense audience but also share the stage with such a brilliant act marked the cyclical nature of music. Delos have finally achieved the recognition they deserve and are bringing other budding acts on the adventure too. Arguably, it was one of the most stirring and haunting Irish performances of this year, and the standing ovation Delorentos received at the end was more than deserved. The band took a venue that would have overwhelmed so many, and made it their own, they made it their home and invited us into it.
Review by Elaine McDonald
Photos by Tudor Marian