Saturday 9 November 2019

On Stage: Fontaines DC @ Paradiso

It's been an incredible year for Dubliners Fontaines D.C. The band released their first album to raving reviews and everyone agreed this is one of the must see bands of this year. At the Loose Ends festival the quintet proved to be one of the highlights and a band to watch.

Fontaines D.C. at Paradiso Amsterdam, November 6 2019

The Irish band was supposed to play at the intimate small club Bitterzoet, one of the Paradiso stages in Amsterdam, which sold out in no time. It was then moved to the main hall of Paradiso, which also sold out, proving this is the band you wanted to see. There's a sense of anticipation hanging around in Paradiso tonight that you don't feel that often. This is one of those nights where you know you might just witness something extraordinary.

What is it about this band that makes them so special? It's hard to put a finger on it, but when you see them play live, you just get the feeling this is a unique band. The way singer Grian Chatten moves around stage, in a somewhat nervous, almost uncomfortable way, but at the same time very intense. The rest of the band looks pretty much untouched, but the guitar lines and grooves are simply to the point and spot on.

Most of all the songs are of rare quality, hitting the sweet spot every time. They are great melodies with a dark undertow and Chatten's poetic lyrics that combine into a sense of urgency. Everything the band is playing hits bulls eye and the intense post-punk songs are very effective, firing up everyone in the venue. Some of their songs like 'Sha Sha Sha' and 'Too Real' are irresistible songs with great hooks, but even slower songs like 'Television Screens' have a great sound and feel to it.

The band closes with 'Boys In The Better Land' and 'Big' that have already turned into anthems of a generation. One more time the main hall is an explosive ball of energy that bursts into a wild pit and crowd surfers go round. After an hour the band leaves the stage and doesn't return. The crowd keeps on cheering for a long time but the Dubliners don't return because they simply don't have any songs left. At the small Bitterzoet venue this would have been normal, but the main hall usually has bands that will play longer.

It shows the incredible breakthrough of this band this year. We may have witnessed something special tonight, a band that is on the verge of an even bigger breakthrough and may have already outgrown this venue the next time they pass through. This is a moment to treasure, although there's still plenty of room for improvement. This talented band is definitely onto something and it's going to be interesting to see where it will take them.

All Pictures

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01. A Hero's Death
02. Hurricane Laughter
03. Chequeless Reckless
04. Sha Sha Sha
05. Lucid Dream
06. Television Screens
07. Roy's Tune
08. Too Real
09. Televised Mind
10. Liberty Belle
11. Boys in the Better Land
12. Big

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