Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at The Academy, Dublin on Monday 11th March 2013

It was a bitterly cold March night that saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rumble back into town for their first Irish concert since December 2010. To music fans three years can seem like a lifetime. It is little surprise then that they managed to sell out The Academy.  With a new album announced at the start of the year an expectant crowd awaited the trio.

The support act slot on the night was filled by fellow San Francisco natives Transfer. Despite the night being a sell out Transfer played their very short set to a surprisingly small and largely uninterested crowd. Problems with the sound did not help what was a very lacklustre start.

When Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took to the stage the crowd picked up slightly. This is partially down to the fact that The Academy had finally started to feel sold out. Starting off with a cover of The Call’s song Let The Day Begin is a brave move that did not really help the already flat feeling to the night. Second song Rival grabs the attention of everyone but sadly poor sound quality really affects the band and this is a constant throughout the set.  The rest of the night passes by with few highlights apart from Beat the Devil’s Tattoo and Conscience Killer.

The entire concert changed pace far to often. The slower songs in their back catalogue, and a very long cover version of Bob Dylan’s Visions of Johanna, almost entirely lose the crowd to the bar or their phones. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club finally seem to take the bull by the horns toward the end of the set with rip-roaring renditions of Six Barrel Shotgun and Spread Your Love getting a very good reaction before they leave the stage. Sadly the encore sees them revert to old habits and the night ends on another flat note.

Problems with the sound, a flat atmosphere and poorly thought-out set-list all add to what was a very disappointing night and made for a difficult review for a long time fan. Hopefully we will not have to wait another three years for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to return and redeem themselves.


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Photo Gallery

Photos: Aaron Corr