Years & Years at The Olympia Theatre Dublin, 22nd January 2019

Years & Years are a band that you can rely on for an upbeat banger when you want to dance.

That assertion very much came to life last Tuesday when they performed in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, the second of two sold-out shows. The band are busy promoting their new album ‘Palo Santo’ which has already enjoyed several top 10 tracks and with a steady Irish fan base, tonight is set to be a great show.

Mullingar native Flynn does a good job of warming up the crowd with a slick set, complete with all of the tracks that have racked up millions of plays on Spotify over the past few months. As with most support acts, he has his work cut out for him, but he succeeds and even gets the crowd to participate in a sing along during one track. Olly from Years & Years is visible towards the latter end of Flynn’s set at the side of the stage, nodding approvingly in time to the rhythm.

Five minutes before show time, a glitchy countdown timer appears on the rear of the stage sending ripples of excitement through the room. Band members Mikey and Emre stroll onstage with two backing singers, dressed to the nines in colourful and glittery outfits but they are soon outdone by front man Olly: the lead singer dons an eclectic attire of blue boiler trousers and a skin-tight top with thickly soled shoes – he completely commands your attention.

He bounces onto the stage to the captivating opening sounds of Sanctify, complete with a dance routine and light show. As the song draws to a close, he points out and endearingly waves to his ‘Nana Kate’ in the audience before launching into Meteorite.

Years & Years’ signature upbeat tunes have proven to be both a blessing and a curse for them: the set is a total workout. Not one song falls below 110 BPM and Olly’s face is laced with trickles of sweat several songs in. His energy never lapses however, and a smile seems to be constantly on his face.

The band come across as a group that have tried and tested live sets and finally found what works, this much is clear: any lapse in energy could be detrimental and is to be avoided at all costs. Tracks such as Hallelujah and Palo Santo set the pace early on and the band do a great job of keeping up. During Lucky Escape, Olly forgets lyrics and gets visibly upset on stage, but the crowd are charming and shout words of encouragement his way.

Desire and Ties are definite highlights, as is the irresistible If You’re Over Me. During the brief intermission, the two backing singers take centre stage as the audience are treated to a covers of No Tears Left To Cry and Like A Prayer, a welcome, albeit unusual, break from the high octane set.

After performing King, the song that kickstarted their career in 2015, as their encore, Years & Years exit the stage as a band who are very sure of who they are, and of where they want to go.