When it comes to larger music venues, things can be very hit or miss and Dublin is pretty spoiled when it comes to 3Arena.
Despite a capacity of 14,500, the North Wall venue manages to preserve a sense of atmosphere and solid sound quality and it’s fair to say that every nook and cranny in the building was occupied for last Saturday’s sold-out show from The Coronas.
The Dublin band are a strange phenomenon, in that they’ve attracted a seemingly inexhaustible fan base in Ireland over their career but struggled to nail anywhere near the same success abroad. Still, whether or not you’re a fan of their emotional indie-pop, there is no arguing that it is a major achievement to maintain the sense of hysteria that still follows the foursome after eleven years in the business.
After an opening set from up-and-comers Walking On Cars, the group walked on stage to a very enthusiastic response that clearly overwhelmed frontman Danny O’Reilly. In fact, the 28-year-old later asked to audience to allow him to take a minute and soak in the welcome at the Dublin venue.
As they ploughed their way through a set that veered from stadium rock through to traditional ballads, the progression in the band’s music is very clear and tracks like Just Like That and My Fault from last album The Long Way are definitely among their best.
One thing that did come to mind from their wide-ranging set is that the band have yet to ‘pick a lane’, veering frequently into several genres with differing results.
The recent material, which is said to have been inspired by O’Reilly’s high-profile break-up with MTV presenter Laura Whitmore, shows that their group are closer to nailing a balance between in-depth songwriting and their production-led radio friendly pop… a skill that could be key if they want to crack that international market.
The crowd, which was more diverse than you would expect, sang their way through almost every track on the setlist, from older anthems like the San Diego Song through to the fantastic closing cover of Mic Christopher’s Heyday with guest appearance from Gavin James and WOC’s Patrick Sheehy.
This was a career-defining moment for The Coronas and the band grabbed it with both hands, turning out a pretty flawless live performance while enjoying every minute. O’Reilly is a charismatic frontman, whose vocal prowess is frequently underrated and it fair to say that the 14,000 fans who trekked to 3Arena got bang for their buck.
Honorary hat-tip to whomever was on stage and lighting duties as the dynamic display was definitely one of the highlights of the show.