Let’s kick things off by saying, first of all, that MCD and Trinity successfully managed to shake off the doubters with the Summer Series.
Arguments were made that the country was already saturated with outdoor open air concerts; questions arose over the set-up and whether it would actually be any good.
And it was. Good organisation meant there was a relatively decent view of the stage wherever you stood and there plenty of room to manoeuvre and boogie as you please. Douze pointes! With any luck, the series will return next year.
But back to present day. Circa Waves are a band that are unashamedly warm and fun. For some reason though, they don’t have much interest in showing that side of themselves during their supporting set.
Granted, they have a new album to promote – an album that takes a particularly harder line to their California sun-drenched sounding debut boasted. But it’s a little turgid, given the crowd, and given they’re opening for one of the most playful sounding bands in indie rock.
Fire That Burns proves most popular among the crowd. Singer Kieran Shudall checks in regularly with the crowd, claiming he’s 1/8th Irish. His frequent interjections, however, means the final songs are rushed through – something which he acknowledges.
Unsurprisingly, T-Shirt Weather gets the biggest response capping off a set that was largely loud and turgid.
There’s a lot to admire when it comes to Two Door Cinema Club. They ushered in the teenies (Tens? The decade after the noughties anyway), by sound-tracking every single ad for every single phone network provider in the country.
After a good second album that offered much of the same, they called a halt and went back to the studio, and while ‘Gameshow’ offers something considerably glitzier than it’s predecessor, it didn’t exactly leave people enthralled.
In crafting their Trinity set, this is something they have taken on board. It’s hit heavy – their entire first album is practically a collection of singles – leaving an insatiable crowd giddy and eager for more.
Undercover Martyn is as frantic as ever; wildly fun as limbs go flying. Do You Want It All is given a more subdued outing by comparison.
It’s a vibrant set that flows well – singer Alex Trimble’s vocal flourishes on This Is The Life don’t go unnoticed.
Perhaps the biggest difference in the band is their overall stage presence. Back in 2013 – their last big open air performance at Phoenix Park supporting The Killers before disappearing into the ether – they were lost. On the verge of burnout, they appeared to be swallowed up by stage dressage and a raucous audience.
Now, however, Trimble cuts a strong figure on stage – cooly confident alongside bandmates Kevin Baird and Sam Halliday. The visuals are simple and yet extremely effective as the set rolls on.
They don’t chat much, barring the occasional “what’s up Dublin” and “it’s so good to be back”. On Bad Decisions, Trimble’s falsetto is a thing of magic, catching many in the crowd by surprise. His exertion means he wobbles ever so slightly on later tracks like Next Year though.
Newer material prompts strong performances – Lavendar in a live setting is a different beast, and one which the crowd are happy to shout along too. There aren’t as many on board for Are We Ready? but from a performance point of view, they couldn’t have done anymore.
Two Door Cinema Club make the right choice in sticking to what they know, and ultimately what they do so well – frenetic indie pop. It’s a set for fans, appreciated by fans in a show that looks likely to set the tone for the rest of the year. Having progressed beyond people pleasing, they’re finally comfortable in doing what they do, no holds barred.