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Live Music Review: Fontaines D.C. at Rescue Rooms

19 April 19 words: Alex Keene

Our Alex got down to Rescue Rooms to see what all the hype around Irish band Fontaines D.C. was all about...

Fontaines D.C.

After a last-minute change in venue, Fontaines D.C. hit the Rescue Rooms stage in front of a sold-out crowd this Tuesday. This Irish-born group released their debut album earlier this month, and interest in how they might translate these tracks to the stage is clear as soon as we walk into the building.

But first, support band Just Mustard. Their half-hour set is filled to the brim with atmospheric vocals and guitar chords. It is safe to say this five-piece collective, while clearly at the fledgling stage of their musical career, have all the tools to set up the crowd for the night’s main event.

The anticipation is palpable by the time Fontaines D.C. take to the stage. Kicking off with Hurricane Laughter, a loud, upbeat track with vocals designed to confront and a bass designed to get the crowd moving, it's clear they didn’t come to spread peace or harmony.

Their first tune is a party song, meant to ignite a party atmosphere. The crowd, attentive from the first chord, would’ve been dancing to their heart’s content if there was enough room on the floor to move that much. From the look of the audience, it’s safe to say that these boys will pack out the Rock City stage at their upcoming gig next January.

In what becomes a short gig, only an hour and forty-five minutes from start to finish, no time is wasted on long speeches to the audience. Instead, vocalist Grian Chatten chooses to expend his energy whipping up the fans stood before him. And it is safe to say he has his fair share of energy to release; his intermittently wild demeanour fitting nicely with the atmosphere of the room.

Stand out track Liberty Belle begins about half-way through the set. Just as heavy as previous tracks, it immediately makes the crowd stand to attention once again. A foot tapping tune with Slaves-style vocals that exemplifies the grimy rock that makes up the bread and butter of this group’s musical productions.

It became clear to us, as the gig moves through its paces, that this group do one thing, and they do it well. There seems to be no time at all for slower tracks or more thoughtful lyrics. That is, at least, until the final track. The last song in the nearly hour-long set. Mellow instrumentals and slower vocals make for a different tone to this track, albeit the same underlying elements can still easily be detected.

Interestingly, there is no encore to be enjoyed this time around. As soon as the last track’s final notes were played, the lights come up and it is time for the packed-out crowd to make their way out of the building. We couldn’t help but feel that Fontaines D.C. had a little more to give, and the audience would’ve lapped up every minute of it.

Fontaines D.C. played Rescue Rooms on Tuesday 17 April 2019

Get tickets for their Rock City show in January 2020 here

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