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Articles: Gig Reviews

05
George Michael (live in Dublin)
Review Snapshot:  Having returned from a performing exile in 2006 to promote his back catalogue of hits, this time George Michael brings his Symphonica Orchestra to Dublin, and while it may not have been the first time he’s had a horn section behind him, he proved he can songs from a wide range or artists ranging from Tim Buckley to Rihanna. The Cluas Verdict: 8 out of 10 Full Review: Dressed immaculately  in a dark suit and tie (like he does for his court appearances), tonight George Michael alternated between standing front of stage for up-tempo numbers like 'My Baby Just Cares For Me', to sitting on a stool for ballads 'Cowboys And Angels', 'True Faith' and 'You have Been Loved'. What becomes evident in the first half of the show is boredom setting in amongst the audience, with the increase in chatting volume while George does his best to keep their attention with unknown covers from the likes of Rufus Wainwri... [Read on]
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10
Brian Wilson (live in Dublin)
Brian Wilson (Grand Canal Theatre, 7 September 2011) Snapshot Review: The legendary Beach Boy performs the music of two of the world’s greatest composers - Gershwin and Wilson - and a draw is a fair result. The Cluas Verdict: 8 out of 10 Full Review:  “About two years ago, I was approached by the Gershwin family to work on some of his music and the result was Wilson does Gershwin, and we’d like to sing those 14 songs for you now” was how Brian Wilson greeted the audience on his return to Dublin. Over the next 45 minutes he sat almost motionless behind the keyboard while his 10-piece band, (and a five-piece orchestra of Irish artists) playing a lounge selection of beautiful composed and arranged Gershwin pieces including ‘Summertime’, ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘Someone To Watch Over You’. The band were faultless throughout, with a mix of brass instruments, keyb... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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31
Prince - Malahide Castle, Dublin, 30 July 2011
Review Snapshot: His Royal Purpleness fulfils his appointment in Dublin, at the second time of asking, and makes it up to those disappointed fans first time round, with a show packed with classic hit after hit. The Cluas Verdict:9 out of 10 Full Review: Easily the most eagerly awaited gig in Ireland this year, Prince was determined to make it up to the Irish fans on Saturday night, and he did so, in front of almost 30,000 fans at Malahide castle. Wearing a creamed coloured poncho he walked on stage and started taking photographs of the crowd before opening with ‘Gold’. “I’m sorry it took so long to come to you” he said as an apology before immediately kicking in a storming collection of ‘80s classics. ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, ‘Delirious’, ‘1999’, ‘Little Red Corvette’ and ‘Take Me With U’ followed in quick succession and there was no doubt that he was determined to mak... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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10
Eddie Vedder (live in San Diego)
Eddie Veder, Copely Symphony Hall, San Diego (July 5, 2011) Review Snapshot: Eddie Vedder is touring solo across North America with a brave and beautiful show, crossing musical generations and styles, challenging his audience and himself.   The Cluas Verdict: 10 out of 10   Full Review: Eddie Vedder has got soul and guts. He's touring solo again, this time playing stuff from his new 'Ukulele Songs' album, as well as stripped down versions of Pearl Jam gems, songs from his 'Into The Wild' album, and some amazingly great covers. Eddie can make a lot of noise with just a guitar or ukulele and that beautiful booming baritone voice. He jumps across decades to croon a 20s ukulele love song, on to a 60s Beatles heartbreaker, 80s Springsteen & X covers, and the whole breadth of Pearl Jam's time.   As with Pearl Jam shows, he has great faith in his audience, and we have complete faith in him, and that feels good. &n... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews
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02
The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart (Live in Dublin)
Review Snapshot: Not to worry, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, it's not your fault. I don't think that the combined bill of Obama, the Queen of England, Jedward and a large hadron collider could have breathed life into the Button Factory on Wednesday night. Tough crowd. The CLUAS Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were in Dublin this week for their first headline gig in Ireland, having visited these shores only once before as support to The Wedding Present back in 2008. And with their energetic, chorus driven indie-pop, I was expecting quite an atmosphere. However, like a certain American preacher whose recent doomsday predictions went tits up, I was left sorely disappointed. I missed the support act through a series of unfortunate events, namely my finishing work later than I had expected and also finding a nearby pub that were serving two euro pints. But I made my way there sometime before nine to find the Button Factory comfortably ... [Read on]
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02
Richard Marx (Live in Dublin)
Review Snapshot:  An 80s heart-throb making his debut appearance in Ireland has the crowd eating out of his hand with a mix of story and song from an illustrious singing and songwriting career that would have even his most cynical critics smiling. The Cluas Verdict: 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Richard Marx! Now there’s a name from the '80s that we haven’t heard much from lately, but thankfully the man is back with a new album ‘Stories To Tell’, which includes some stripped down covers of his classic hits, and these are what he performed at Dublin’s National Concert Hall during his first ever gig in Ireland. Opening with ‘Endless Summer Nights’ and ‘Take This Heart’, this two hour show basically featured, one man, 2 guitars and a piano, and the occasional assistance of his mate Steve tinkling the ivories, but it really was a one-man show of music and chat, and what stories he told us throughout the evening. ... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
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26
Review Snapshot: The legendary 1979 album performed in its entirety, coupled with a visual display to rival anything seen in a science fiction movie. This is as good as it gets. The Cluas Verdict? 10 out of 10 Full Review: Roger Waters show at the O2 in Dublin was a visual spectacle from the opening. The half constructed wall, with so many fantastic images projected onto it, dominated from the start of ‘In The Flesh’ and ‘The Thin Ice’. The sound for ‘Another Brick In The Wall (parts 1-3)' was crystal clear, during which the group of young school kids singing the chorus had hair standing on the back on my neck, while the huge Gerald Scarfe school teacher puppet with the large cane in his hand, moved eerily above the children as they sang “Hey Teacher, leave those kids alone”. The tracks were performed in the order they appeared on the album, as the bricks continued to be put in place during ‘Mother&rsquo... [Read on]
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25
Roger Waters (live in Dublin)
Roger Waters, The Wall (live in the O2, Dublin, 23 May 2011) Review snapshot: Waters is currently touring with ‘The Wall Live 2011’, an ambitious and spellbinding performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd epic double-album and film, on a massive visual scale. Flawless sound, a light show that would make the most seasoned stoner wet themselves, and a multimedia extravaganza charged with biting social commentary. If rock is your bag, then this is one show you do not want to miss.   The CLUAS Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full review: On Monday night Dublin’s O2 Arena played host to one of England’s finest, Roger Waters, ex-bass player / lead singer of rock gods Pink Floyd. Waters is currently touring with ‘The Wall Live 2011’,an ambitious and spellbinding performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd epic double-album and film, on a massive visual scale. The success lies in the mix of flawless sound, a light show that would make the mo... [Read on]
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09
Duke Special (live in Portlaoise)
A review of Duke Special (live in Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise) Review Snapshot: While there’s no room in tonight's small venue for his piano, Duke Special still  managed to put all his energy, enjoyment, and drama into a gig which enthralled us for over two hours. The Duke managed to silence us with his fascinating stories and history lessons, bringing a different perspective to what can be achieved when you mix music and art. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10   Full review: Having witnessed a few Duke Special gigs over the years, I thought I’d seen all this man has to offer, but I have to admit his May Day Bank Holiday performance in Portlaoise recently was the best I’ve seen him deliver. There’s standing room only as the venue cramped with 100 lucky people has an intimate feel to it, like he’s performing in your sitting room.  With at least six studio albums to his credit now, there’s no... [Read on]
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09
Esben & the Witch (Live in Dublin)
Esben & the Witch (Live at the Crawdaddy) Review Snapshot: The critically acclaimed Esben and the Witch make their Dublin debut in The Crawdaddy, and give a performance appropriate for the fairy tale from which they’re named. A memorable night for those in attendance. The CLUAS Verdict: 7.5 out of 10  Full review: A small crowd of about forty gather for the night's support act, The Ambience Affair. The unsigned Leinster band have to date released two EPs, but with a full length LP in the works expectations are high. Pounding drums and jangling guitar sail the band from track to track, from upbeat to soothing and from start to finish. The band, masters of creating a wall of sound, seamlessly mount guitar and vocals on replayed loops, building a sound far more tangible and expansive than could be expected from a three member group. Once the applause after each song has died down there is a dead silence with frenzied guitar change... [Read on]
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