2019 was a year filled with stand-out performances taking place over past twelve months, the Last Mixed Tape picks out its Top 10 Gigs of 2019. As always only live performances attended by TLMT are up for consideration.
10. Chvrches – Olympia Theatre
Chvrches triumphant two-night sold-out run at the Olympia Theatre was everything and more we’ve come to expect from the synth-pop trio. With a lush backdrop of textured pop sounds and foundation rattling beats, Lauren Mayberry’s vocal and performance on tracks like ‘Leave A Trace’, ‘Gun’ and ‘Clearest Blue’ lead the pack-out crowd through a truly spellbinding set.
9. AE Mak – The Grand Social
AE Mak’s Grand Social headliner earlier this year was one of great metamorphosis for the artist beginning a stand out year that would eventually culminate in a Button Factory show this month. Having built a reputation both in the studio and live, the buzz around McCann is justified due to the organic way she’s gone about creating it.
8. Thumper – Ireland Music Week (The Workman’s Club)
Thumper’s 2019 has seen the Dublin band build on their live reputation as the group give every last drop of energy with each show. The band’s set at Ireland Music Week was no different, as they took the bull by the horns and delivered a set that worked, as well as the band members, into the unbridled wildness of noise their music creates.
7. Villagers – Iveagh Gardens
No matter how many times you see Villagers live, Conor O’Brien & Co. never fail to weave a sense of magic around the audience that few acts can match. Set within the intimate surrounds of summertime at the Iveagh Gardens, Villagers may have very well pulled off their best show to date.
6. Fontaines D.C. – Forbidden Fruit 2019
Fontaines D.C. took to the Forbidden Fruit main stage like conquering heroes commanding the attention of the festival crowd as they asserted themselves as the band of 2019 via blistering renditions of ‘Boys In The Better Land’ to the feral ‘Hurricane Laughter’.
5. Idles – Vicar Street
Picking between the two raucous sold-out Dublin shows from Idles in 2019 was a difficult one, but the intense atmosphere and immediacy of their Vicar Street headliner in April was one that captured their ethos perfectly, portraying a positivity through the release that their music gives, which in turn, was reciprocated by the Dublin crowd two-fold.
4. Chromatics – Vicar Street
The very definition of mood-driven. Chromatics worked up an imposing atmosphere via high stylization and the group’s dream-pop sound, creating a world in and off itself within the wall of Vicar Street giving those in attendance a transportative experience was compelling from start to finish.
3. Jenny Lewis – The Academy
Jenny Lewis is a simply awe-inspiring performer. With the Dublin crowd wrapped around her finger, Lewis and her band bewitched and brought us through a captivating set that culminated in a rendition Rilo Kiley’s ‘With Arms Outstretched’, a moment that went straight into the Last Mixed Tape top live music experiences of all time.
2. Girl Band – Vicar Street
The final night of a pair of sold out shows in Vicar Street served as homecoming in more ways than one, for both Girl Band themselves and those in attendance. Bringing the visceral scream and rumble of their sophomore record The Talkies to life, Girl Band worked the crowd into a frenzy.
1. Sharon Van Etten – Vicar Street
It is always exciting when an act brings their live tour supporting an album that means so much to them, either musically or emotionally, such was the case with Sharon Van Etten’s Vicar Street headliner and record Remind Me Tomorrow. Powerful, impactful and vital, roof-raising performances of ‘Seventeen’, the stomping ‘Comeback Kid’ and a beautifully intimate cover of Sinead O’Connor’s Black Boys On Mopeds’ showcased Van Etten as an artist height of her powers right now, and Dublin welcomed her with aplomb.
All photos by Stephen White. Check out the Last Mixed Tape’s full photo gallery – here.