“He lost you when he took off his top, didn’t he?”
That he did. He in this case, is singer Ryan Hennessey of Picture This.
It’s night one of the Athy band’s three night run at the Olympia Theatre, following a monumental year in which they went from relative unknowns to the number one band in the country. A video plays documenting their sky-rocket to success, featuring the various radio appearances they’ve made over the last 12 months.
The output doesn’t reflect the fact that Picture This didn’t exist not so long again. They have a decent body of work and they work well together on stage. I Don’t Know Why is lyrically simplistic – but it’s nice. Everything is … Nice. However, there’s still a large chunk of material the crowd is unfamiliar with as they gear up to release an LP.
Everything You Need prompts a lovely sing-a-long, though pockets of the crowd find themselves distracted during the rendition. It’s not overly imaginative or original, but there’s some nice runaway percussion.
Thematically, all the songs are extremely similar – boy meets girl, love ensues, love is very difficult and so on.
“It’s gonna get a little bit emotional”, Hennessey says leading in to Pretend. It’s far from tear-jerking, but it is endearing. His vocals are distinctive and enjoyable, with some lovely cadences on the chorus.
Following this, he seemingly loses the run of himself and develops an aversion to wearing clothes. He takes off his shirt – much to the enjoyment of the female half of the audience. Even with their new rock star credentials, it’s an obnoxious move.
Young Tonight is their San Diego Song – and again, it’s all fine. Everything’s fine. Hopes are never crushed, the bar is never exceeded. It’s a very vanilla evening provided by a very vanilla band.
Their work ethic has to be admired, and to turn your nose up at their monumental journey would be an extremely naive thing to do. It’s as hard to criticise them as it is to praise – they don’t necessarily do anything wrong. Their music is just so unbearably safe that it only really appeals to those who’s intake of music doesn’t go beyond the Top 40.
It’s fine. Picture This will be fine. Everything is … Fine.