Saturday 18 January 2020

On Stage: Inhaler @ Melkweg

There has been a lot of buzz around Dublin rock band Inhaler starting last year. 'Honest Face' went down well and at the moment 'Ice Cream Sundae' is doing the same. But of course it's impossible not to mention singer Elijah Hewson is the son of Paul Hewson who is in a rock band as well. Doesn't ring a bell? That's because his dad goes by the name “Bono”, yes that band.

Inhaler at Melkweg Amsterdam, January 16 2020

That probably draws a few extra people to their concerts and tonight Melkweg's "Oude Zaal" that can hold up about 700 people has sold out weeks ago. I already listened to their music a few times before this concert was announced and like some of their catchy songs. It made me curious about their live shows and to be honest I wanted to see what Elijah Hewson was really all about as well.

First Amsterdam band Queen's Pleasure are working up a sweat warming up the crowd, and doing a great job by the way. You hardly can't get more British and the band is borrowing from a couple of Britpop eras. I like it a lot and am going to keep an eye and an ear out for these guys.

With a lot of drama, while the Dub Side Of The Moon version of Pink Floyd's 'Breathe' is playing, Inhaler takes the stage. So far the band only has released a couple of songs and a four song EP on vinyl. I try to watch them unbiased, without comparing them to U2. That turns out to be hard because their sound is close to the famous band from their hometown. Still if you forget about that for a bit, you can see this band is looking and sounding very professional. They have a big sound, that could easily grow them into big festival stages and large venues. The band plays tight and looks very comfortable and convincing.

Not all songs may be equally great but there's plenty to go with for them. 'Ice Cream Sundae' is halfway the set and is greeted with loud cheers. All combined this is a good show for such a young and new band. But it is simply impossible to stay away from Bono and U2. When you close your eyes you simply hear them echoing through Inhaler's music. Hewson's voice also is very close to Bono's especially in the higher registers. When you open your eyes but squint a bit, you think you're even looking at a young Bono. Hewson has very similar looks but even moves a bit like his famous dad.

One question remains: will this be a blessing or a curse for them? That is hard to say, since it's too early to tell. However the band has enough quality, although they need more songs that sound better overall. It could go either way, but it if they get it all right, they could stand on their own and don't need to stand on the shoulders of one of the biggest rock bands ever. 'Honest Face' that closes the set is proof this band has enough potential for that.

All Pictures

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01. We Have To Move On
02. It Won't Always Be Like This
03. When I'm With You
04. A Night on the Floor
05. Ice Cream Sundae
06. Falling In
07. My King Will Be Kind
08. Cheer Up Baby
09. There's No Other Place
10. My Honest Face

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