Thursday, 3 July 2014

LIVE: Biffy Clyro at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham

Last Saturday night, myself and my dear mother went to see Biffy Clyro at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8 (clearly, she's not a regular mom, she's a cool mom). We booked the tickets at the last minute on Friday night - we'd been talking about going for ages because we saw the Biff last year in the O2 and have been dying to see them ever since. Our spontaneity was certainly rewarded because the whole evening was spectacular.

Little Matador kicked things off after six pm - they're a new Irish 'supergroup' fronted by Snow Patrol's lead guitarist, Nathan Connolly. They were really good - I probably would have enjoyed them more, had I been familiar with any of their songs, but they were great nonetheless. A little Queens of the Stone Age-esque, I'd say. I didn't get any photos of them, because I wasn't quite at the barrier at that point, and because I'm so short, any photos of them would just be an abundance of heads in front of me so...

The second support was You Me At Six, a band who I've adored unconditionally since I was about fourteen years old (that's for almost a quarter of my life, when you think about it..). I'll admit I was a teensy bit more excited to see them over Biffy Clyro themselves, purely because I've loved them for longer - this was my fourth time seeing them. They were absolutely superb; they played quite a number of songs off their new album, Cavalier Youth - Fresh Start Fever and Cold Night were amazing - as well as throwing in a few 'golden oldies', like Underdog, Stay With Me and the slightly more recent, Loverboy and Reckless. It was an upbeat set from the get-go, with Cold Night being the only 'slow' song in the line-up. Even though I've seen them a number of times before, this was the first time I'd gotten to watch them from the barrier, and I swear, I was ecstatic. I felt fourteen again, singing, dancing and screaming along (and almost crying - I'm quite the sentimental type, and when it collides with my immense love for music, particularly live music, things tend to get a little... emotional). Seriously, there is no better feeling than watching your favourite band from the barrier. What's more, early teenage me died and went to heaven when their lead singer, Josh, came over to our side of the barrier a few times, smiled at me twice and even pointed - I was probably pretty obvious from the stage, being the only one our end of the barrier who was jumping around like a lunatic. Oh, well. 

I'll shut up about my fangirling over YMAS now and talk about what we were really there for: the wonderful Biffy Clyro, who played an amazing set with fewer slower moments than their last Dublin gig. There was a mix of songs both new and old on their setlist - Living Is A Problem..., Who's Got A Match? and The Captain all went down a treat, as well as newer material like Sounds Like Balloons, Biblical and Black Chandelier. One of my favourites was Bubbles, which is always a great one for going absolutely crazy too - someone along the barrier had a bubble gun so there were bubbles everywhere. Simon Neil treated his audience to two acoustic songs, Machines (which is a total tearjerker, oh my god) and God and Satan. I must admit, my favourite moment was singing along to Many of Horror with ten thousand other Biffy fans and the band themselves, as the sun went down on a glorious summer evening. Such a highlight, and a beautiful moment. It was pretty overwhelming, to be honest. I also caught bassist James Johnson's plectrum at the end, which was pretty cool!

All in all, an absolutely perfect evening. I sat through our two-and-a-half hour journey home, going, "I can't believe that happened". I still can't. I've also realised it's hard to write gig reviews of your favourite bands without sounding like a total fangirl, but oh, well. Definitely one of my favourite days of 2014 so far - let's hope there's many more like it to come.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.