The Coronas at Royal Hospital Kilmainham – Review & Photos
The Coronas at Royal Hospital Kilmainham – June 27th
It was on a dreary Friday night with the clouds promising rain that I arrived at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham to see outdoor concert for The Coronas. After receiving a quick pat-down and bag search I strolled onto the concert field to the electro dance tunes of the first support act Daithí. With the venue less than a quarter full, and the few concert-goers that had arrived sitting on the ground and chatting, the Galway native didn’t let that affect his performance for a moment and was giving it absolute socks. Wielding a fiddle and bouncing energetically up and down in front of his turntables, Daithí was in his element mixing this and looping that. After another few songs he bade a hearty farewell to the crowd and left the stage.
After a short while waiting for the stage to be set up, The Riptide Movement strode out and all who had been sitting down were now on their feet. The four-part rock group had the crowd soon stamping their feet and joining in as concert goers still flooded in to the ever-growing crowd. To the delight of the crowd the sky began to clear up and the sun peeked through as the band started their set. Accompanied by a small brass section for some songs and incorporating the crowd into their set for others, The Riptide Movement really succeeded in pumping up the crowd for headline and following act The Coronas.
Opening with a smooth sequence of songs with no breaks, the Dublin-based band rocked out ‘Dreaming Again’ to a flurry of pyrotechnics, ‘San Diego Song’, and ‘Listen Dear’ which all being some of the most popular works by the band that had the crowd sing-shouting along to the words and moving to the quick-paced beat. The Coronas are no strangers to a bit of flair as during their opening, following the fire-based fun, no less than fifty enormous bouncy balls of different colours were released bouncing atop the crowd which had most squealing with delight as they punched one back towards the sky. Frontman Danny O’Reilly greeted a quick welcome to the crowd before moving to the piano and launching the band into ‘Blind Will Lead the Blind’ which was accompanied by an explosion of confetti that covered the crowd and stage.
O’Reilly told the crowd about their new album being released in the very-near future which included three of their slightly newer and less heard of songs that went down an absolute treat with the crowd, ‘Just Like That’, ‘Get Loose’, and ‘A Long Way’. ‘Just Like That’ had a more rock/indie feel that was filled with lots of catchy electric guitar riffs and had a slight inyourface feel as O’Reilly sang “I’m not saying I want you back no”. ‘Get Loose’ had O’Reilly swapping his acoustic guitar for a drum and was a nice change as it had a slightly slower tempo than previous songs. ‘Warm’ came next which had the frontman moving to piano and being accompanied solely by Graham Knox on bass and had simple and heartfelt lyrics like “I want to keep you warm”. The band then took the crowd by surprise and did an absolute one-eighty turn as they went from the down tempo and emotional ‘Warm’ to upbeat and energetic ‘Addicted to Progress’ which has become one of their most popular songs to date and it was hard to find a person in the crowd that wasn’t joining in the lyrics.
A highlight of the evening was when The Coronas play ‘Heroes and Ghosts’ in Irish just as the sun was setting behind the crowd and threw its glow onto the stage. Some knew the whole song in Irish, and props to them, but most (like myself) were clueless but still swayed along to the music. Halfway through they switched the song back to English and most gave a sigh of relief as they were able to join in again. Finally playing ‘All The Luck in the World’ which was a down-tempo rock song that built up in tempo and intensity throughout left the crowd wanting more as they left the stage.
Of course though no concert can end without an encore or two! The boys went on and played ‘All the Others’, ‘A Long Way’, and ‘Mark My Words’ as a wall of sparklers rained down at the back of the stage. Speaking quickly in between songs the band thanked the crowd for coming and everyone they knew that had helped them get to the point they were at today and telling their dreams of hopefully returning in the near future and playing the bigger venue of Croke Park. Ending with a cover of Mic Christopher’s ‘Hay Day’ the band gave their final goodbyes (“we promise”) for the night and leave the stage as fireworks explode to the back of the crowd. An outstanding night had unfortunately come to an end but hearing the energetic and enthusiastic crowd babble about the concert as they spilled out of the exits I’m sure it’s not a night that they’ll forget.