Over the past few years, Dublin native Jonathon Ng, better known by his stage name EDEN, has amassed quite the following thanks to his unique blend of EDM that seamlessly integrates elaborate guitar riffs, heavy electric bass lines, captivating vocals and stirring lyrics.
Demonstrating a quiet confidence, EDEN makes the decision to kick off his show at The Olympia with the slow-burning and vocally focused Wrong, a one-minute track that also happens to be the opening number on his debut record ‘Vertigo’, released earlier this year.
In similar fashion, the next number of tracks performed all follow the album’s layout. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, and hearing it live really demonstrates how flawlessly this album has been produced by the 22-year-old. It also offers a chance for him to showcase his vocal talent, from the striking high notes to the emotional voice cracks.
Yet, as these songs possess similar thematic content featuring softer acoustic sounds fused with understated electronic beats they do blend together, in what could be described as one elongated synth-pop declaration of heartbreak and confusion. Although, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
A standout here is Crash, with its appealing composition and impressive vocal shifts that make the second verse sound, very convincingly, as if it is sung by a female. By the time Gold comes around it’s a welcome break up in style, having the most upbeat arrangement of all the tracks on ‘Vertigo’ and it’s a real crowd pleaser.
EDEN demonstrates his talent as a multi-instrumentalist throughout the show alternating between keyboard and guitar playing when he isn’t moving around the stage. It’s quite clear he’s an all round talent. Dressed in a plain black t-shirt and dark jeans, he is a contrast to the flashing strobes and blinking lights that encompass him, all of which create an aesthetically pleasing visual display that really set the tone and atmosphere in the room.
He does at times break up his playing of the album from start to finish, with older and exceptionally well-received tracks, Rock + Roll, Fumes and End Credits. Noticeably left of the set list though, and to the disappointment of some fans, were Wake Up, drugs and XO, which just so happen to be his most streamed and well-known tracks. In the final quarter of the set, he returns to his rhythmic and calculated structure by finishing out the album in order.
Falling in Reverse closes out the show; a deep, melancholic track which states, “So listen here I’m the voice in your head/ And I can say the words which make you feel scared.” This was a thought-provoking move, as he then leaves the stage without an encore on a sombre note with the last lyrics sung stating “It’s time to decay.”
In retrospect, it appears that EDEN is an artist truly passionate about what he is doing creatively at the present moment and wants to put all his energy into these ideas and sentiments. It would have felt wrong, perhaps, to come back on stage with a more upbeat fan favourite after his emotional closer, even if a certain amount of the predominantly teenage audience wanted this. Instead, EDEN sticks to his guns in a bold and brave move that perhaps only his true fans will value and appreciate.