An early Christmas gift to the army of Damien Dempsey fans was his two sell out shows in Vicar St on the 13th and 14th of December. As Vicar St began to fill up with die hard fans, the sense of anticipation and excitement was overwhelming. Tri-colour flags with the stars name and face printed on them began to appear all around the packed venue, it was clear something very special was about to happen.
As the attentive crowd began to chant ‘Damo’ in unison, ear piercing screams filled the venue as the main man finally made an appearance, just him and his guitar.
Damien greeted the crowd with waves and nods before bursting into Spray Paint Back Alley, the simple guitar and consistently perfect vocals made for a flawless acoustic rendition of one of Damien’s most loved songs. The gig was already off to an amazing start.
Vicar Street was filled with a rapturous applause, as the crowd waited for Damien to speak, he thanked everyone for coming and proclaimed that it was in this very venue that he had had some of the best sing songs of his life. Up next was Patience, the pounding rumbling acoustic guitar were enough to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and when blended with Damien’s strong and raw vocals, it made this song one if the highlights of the night. Not many musicians can hold a stage on their own and keep the attention of such a large audience, but Damien’s world-class talent kept the entire venue captivated.
As Damien’s band joined him on stage, they burst into Apple Of My Eye the spectacular tin whistle intro fused beautifully with Damien’s soft and melodic vocal on the track. As well received as his acoustic performance had been, the added power of a full drum kit and bass guitar gave the gig an extra kick. Serious sent vicar street into over drive, the resounding bass line and robust drum parts almost lifted the roof off the rocking venue, Damien’s voice was forceful and crystal clear throughout and as the crowd sang along word perfect it made for yet another hair raising moment.
Busting Out Of Here stirred another sing song, and the extent of Damien’s amazing vocal talent was undeniable, with power and control that even the most experienced singers would be envious of. The simple melody and endearing guitar parts were heavenly when mixed with the stunning keyboards, this was a perfect example of what makes a Damien Dempsey show so special.
The opening keyboard parts of Your Pretty Smile sent shock waves through the audience. The song was perfect from start to finish, Damien’s top notch vocals were wrapped in a beautiful package of violin, drums and lead guitar and hearing it was like ripping open a special present on Christmas morning.
Damien wished the audience a very happy festive season, before blasting into his own rendition of Fairytale Of New York. Such an iconic track is very hard to cover, but Damien’s rock steady voice and his band of mind blowing musicians gave the song a new lease of life.
As the gig drew to a close Damien and his band sifted through some of his most well known tracks such as Sing All Our Cares Away and Negative Vibes putting the cherry on top of what had been a spectacular night of music. The entire gig showcased what it so special about Damien Dempsey, his outstanding musical talent and his lip biting lyrics that mixes modern day Ireland with traditional Irish folk.