REVIEW: Kodaline at the 3Arena

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Kodaline: the collective noun used to describe four lads from Swords, knackered from a promotional tour that has been well and truly exhausted.

On the first of two sold out nights at Dublin’s 3Arena, the band seem a little weary rolling out their predictable back catalogue of hits. Having played extensively throughout the country this summer, including slots at Kilmainham, Live At The Marquee and Indiependence, the limited interaction singer Steve Garrigan has with the crowd feels tired. The same joke about how The One was written as an engagement present for their friend, how it’s a terribly lazy present: the same rushed performance of High Hopes – it’s all been done before, and to much better effect.

The staging – particularly the lighting – ups the ante for several tracks: Play The Game continues to be impressively intense live, as does Coming Alive. And despite the apparent lack of enthusiasm from the lads, the audience are, for the most part, oblivious – dancing, drinking and frivolous.

When the band eventually get an opportunity to experiment and do something different on this outing of the ‘Coming Up For Air’, tour, it, once again, lacks any force. Bringing out support acts Little Hours, Gabrielle Aplin, and apparent back-stage stragglers Hudson Taylor and Jess Kavanagh, the ensemble performs a dreary rendition of Christmas classic Fairytale Of New York. The thought was there, and the intention was certainly good: but why bring every Tom, Dick and Hudson on stage when only Garrigan and Kavanagh ended up singing. Despite having done it in Killarney the night previous, Kavanagh missed her cue at one point, resounding in an overall clunky performance.

Kodaline, without question, have a stunning back catalogue, that will support them for many gigs to come. However, with the 3Arena, it was very much a case of, ‘too much, too soon’. Whether fans agree or not, the band are in line for a well deserved break, before facing total burn out.

Fionnuala Jones

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