I’ll try not to gush, I promise.
Four lads, one stage and plenty of soul. Last night in the Waterfront Hall, Kodaline returned to Belfast for their UK and Ireland Coming Up For Air tour, wowing the crowd into a mesmerizing silence. As someone who had never been to anything but rock concerts, I was unsure what to expect – energy, screaming, pushing and shoving? No, not at all. This was different. Kodaline were in a league of their own.
From the detail of the stage lighting, background shadow-play, and the curtain drop, it was abundantly clear Kodaline had not only matured in their music but also in their style. They knew who they were, they knew what the audience wanted, and above all they knew how to deliver. Without one misstep or a slither of uncertainty, Kodaline took the stage as their own and captured the hearts of the three thousand people in attendance through nothing other than pure emotion.
The set list was perfectly picked. Starring much loved classics from their 2013 album In a Perfect World, they balanced the old and the new with upbeat additions of their recent electronic spin singles such as ‘Honest’ and ‘Lost.’ Particular stand-out songs, however, were ‘One Day’ and ‘Coming Alive’ – two tracks which show, if anything, studio recordings cannot portray the optimum strength of a song. Overall, the highlight of the whole performance belongs to the encore; as fans sang Kodaline back on stage to their favourite hit single ‘All I Want’, the band decided to play another half an hour of tunes to a greedy crowd, including a mash-up of their most well-known melodies; ‘Everything Works Out in the End’ ran seamlessly into ‘Big Bad World’ which, at the simple change of key on the piano turned into a rendition of ‘Talk’ before finishing on ‘In a Perfect World.’ At this stage, the crowds were getting nostalgic; the suspense for ‘All I Want’ was rife in the air, and sure enough, Kodaline performed their best-known hit with matching enthusiasm.
Special mention has to be given for the first support act of the night, Donegal duo Little Hours, whose crystal quality set-pieces were delivered as if they were headlining the Waterfront themselves. They were a match made in heaven for a Kodaline-style acoustic lover, not to mention confident in wooing an early arriving crowd. The second support act came in the shape of Dublin trio All Tvvins. Edgier, grittier, their sound was reminiscent of classic rock mixed with a modern groove. If you would like to check these guys out for yourself, both bands can be found on twitter: @LittleHoursBand @alltvvins
If you ever have the opportunity of seeing Kodaline live, grab it with both hands and run. It’s rare to find an artist not only capable of capturing their own unique sound within their first two studio albums, but also to consistently deliver songs which evoke raw emotion from individuals and crowds alike. Their talent isn’t to be downplayed and above all, Kodaline are guaranteed to be a big name in the music scene simply by repeatedly capturing the essence of the human heart.
Disclaimer: this was a completely unbiased* review
*in a perfect world…