Picture This At The Academy – Review & Photos
After their scheduled gig in The Grand Social sold out in just fifteen minutes, Athy duo Picture This happily scrambled to find a bigger venue to hold their growing fanbase, and in doing so they went on again to sell out the 850 capacity Academy venue in Dublin. Ryan Hennessy and Jimmy Rainsford have amassed a significant following since their formation a mere seven months ago, racking up thousands of views and followers alike across multiple media platforms. Their 13,000+ strong Facebook audience was most definitely helped along by the popularity of the already well-known ‘Take My Hand’, pulling in massive support and even gaining fans among the likes of fellow Irish artists The Script and The Coronas. You would easily mistake Sunday night’s gig as one that had followed previous shows, to culminate past achievements and how far they have come. However, it was in fact their first ever gig played to a live audience.
Opening up for the early evening show was Luke Power, also stepping up for his live gig debut. He is confident in his performance and stage presence, showcasing his fast-paced electro infused offerings across a short set with a voice you would definitely want to remember. Would be interesting to see how he would fare out with a full band behind him too. Áine Cahill follows as the second support slot, with her powerful vocals of ‘Pictures’ willing you to the edge of your seat to hear more. ‘Diamonds’ brings out her edgy attitude that meshes so well with her quirky style and slick harmonies, leaving a sense of curiosity and an instant need to see her perform again.
Picture This take to the stage to a tsunami of noise and a significant input from the screaming girls contingency. Even the introduction of ‘Saviour’ is welcomed with excited cheers of appreciation. The video for this track was only recently released for sharing across their Twitter/Facebook pages, but its popularity is already shown in the confident sing-along that follows around the room.
You would be forgiven for thinking that their set would be a mix of their own work and possibly several covers, and you would be completely shot down (and rightly so) after discovering that in fact each track is their own original material. ‘Easy to Love’ is so nicely paced with such a suitable arrangement, and in homage to yet another of their widely watched videos, both Ryan and Jimmy recreate the simple setting of a keyboard and guitar for ‘Pretend’ which again is notably adored, especially when the additional inclusion of whistling sounds come into play.
‘Loving You’ strips everything right back completely, so much so that the whole band sit cross legged on the stage while Ryan asks that everyone uses their phone lights as they play. The predominately college going crowd are eagerly obliging to his request, and it is clear that it won’t be long until they have a lot more lights filling up even bigger rooms. They also introduce ‘Let’s Be Young’, a track that is so fitting for their current accumulated fanbase, but nothing compares to the reaction received for ‘Take My Hand’. The band quickly pick up on the fact that their voices and instruments were not even needed, with the lyrics being thrown back at them in perfect succession.
They finish up with ‘You and I’, which initially has a similar sound to ‘Take My Hand’ in a live setting, but its catchy tendencies kick in along with an appreciation of the quality songwriting also being showcased.
Picture This are a prime example for highlighting the effectiveness of using popular social media platforms for gaining support from a specific target audience. Online promotion through the likes of sharing posts and recommendations through blogs and videos etc are becoming an increasingly popular means of building a band’s foundations before they even set foot in a venue. This has certainly paid off where these Athy boys are concerned, and, in building this support, they’re already turning all the right heads to get them on their way to the top. Either write their name down or keep it on your active radar because 2016 is going to be their year.
Review by Nicole Leggett
Photos by Pedro Giaquinto