The rise of Dublin’s Fontaines DC has been nothing short of extraordinary. From the John Cooper Clarke tinged joy of 2019’s, ‘Dogrel’, to last year’s dark introspective Holy Bible-esque, ‘A Heroes Death’, their stock has continued to rise into the stratosphere.
Now, they’re able to unleash their ferocious live power on the much delayed tour for the aforementioned, ‘A Heroes Death’, and the last year and a half has only served to add their awe-inspiring intensity.
Opening the set was a spine-tingling rendition of, ‘A Heroes Death’. With pounding drums and the screech of feedback swirling into Manchester Academy’s rafters the only thing powerful enough to cut through it was the spellbinding performance from frontman Grian Chatten. Swinging the microphone from one side of the stage to the other, whilst hollering the track it was enough to produce chills from those in attendance.
The show placed focus on the power of, ‘A Hero’s Death’s songs. With, ‘I Don’t Belong’, ‘Televised Mind’ and ‘A Lucid Dream’, among others, getting a showing and sounding their intense, captivating best.
The one-two punch that was, ‘Televised Mind’ and, ‘Big’ whipped the crowd up their frenzied best, with the crowd moshing back to back. Whilst Chatten seemed to stare into the souls of all those in attendance from centre-stage, swarms of sweating crowd surfers sailed over the barrier. Aging from 20-something University students to 40 plus real ale drinkers, demonstrating what makes the Fontaines so truly captivating.
Capping off the main portion of the set was, ‘Boys In The Better Land’, which was every bit as loud and passionate as one could hope it to be. After a brief interlude the band returned to the stage with a mesmerising rendition of, ‘Roy’s Tune’. The crowd hollered along in unison, with friends clambering on each-other’s shoulders to scream for all to hear. At a gig with so much passion and excitement, this demonstrated the emotive power that live music holds. It was enough to bring a tear to your eye. Closing out the set was a sweaty and euphoric display of, ‘Liberty Bell’. With every single person in attendance screaming at the top of their lungs it was almost hard to hear Chatten over the visceral emotion pouring out of the crowd.
Fontaines DC are a truly special band, and one that don’t come around all too often. Their show at Manchester Academy highlighted that although they might be wonderful on record, they are a different calibre live. From mosh-pit fuelled highes, to downbeat and emotional lows, Fontaines DC proved that they are leaps and bounds above their contemporaries.
Viva Fontaines DC.