Daithí, Upstairs at Whelan’s, Monday, 16 March 2015
Dublin this week has not been the city we know and love. In the face of an invasion of tourists and drunken patriots, we trudged through marshes of plastic Heineken cups and over fresh streams of urine, narrowly avoiding being vomited on while walking down Georges Street, eventually making it to Whelan’s to see Irish electronic musician Daithí Ó Drónaí put on a show.
Most artists these days can be described as being unique, to varying degrees, but none is more deserving of this title than Daithí – he’s probably the only house DJ in the world who integrates live fiddle into his performance, and it’s enthralling to watch.
As soon as we enter, we get sucked into the perpetual bounce that has taken over the room. Not a locked knee or straight elbow in sight, everyone has given over control to the puppeteer behind the decks.
Daithí’s stamina on stage is also incredible. Lit solely by the green glow of light from his rig, a very appropriate colour for the night, he bops from sequencer to keyboard, picking up his fiddle and bow every few minutes, never letting the energy drop throughout the set.
Songs from his debut album ‘In Flight’ feature throughout the night in alternative forms. Being a producer and electronic musician gives Daithí the advantage of being able to completely deconstruct and reformulate a track for a live show, in a way that a more traditional guitar and drums act simply can’t. Tracks like Golden Blush are extended and remixed, just when you think they’ve faded out the vocal sample drops back in again for a final chorus.
The final track of the night comes in the form of album-closer Target, which is ingeniously mixed with an offbeat sample from Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl. The crowd of course nail the responsorial psalm, “Let me hear you say this shit is bananas… B-A-N-A-N-A-S”.
With time for a quick encore, the infectious Chameleon Life is wheeled out, bringing an end to what was a truly fantastic set.
Anyone who didn’t spend the late hours of Monday night watching bass drops heralded by a live fiddle has frankly missed out on a modern man’s Paddy’s Day celebrations.