Irish band Fontaines D.C. has had a huge come-up in the past few years. For Minneapolis, that meant one thing: hurry up and wait.
Originally scheduled to play 7th Street Entry in 2020, they’ve been unable to make it to us. Over those years away, they’ve put out a new album, Skinty Fia, and gained an even bigger fan base. I wasn’t surprised when the rescheduled date showed a new venue as well. From the 250 capacity Entry, they shot up to 1550 capacity Mainroom fame.
The venue filled up rapidly while openers Just Mustard played. The band also hails from Ireland. I can’t imagine how fun it must be to share this experience of touring America together on the road.
Although both acts are labelmates on Partisan, they couldn’t be on further points of the rock spectrum. Katie Ball delivered vocals stoically while guitars whirred around her dreamy voice.
The set fluctuated back and forth between dark and moody, to soaringly light moments. No matter which it was, there was something deeply enjoyable to take in. I’m really looking forward to seeing them again in the future.
The years of anticipation finally came to a point as the screen rose up to reveal the stage changed over. The front of the stage was lined up with 4 microphones with the drums at the back. Lights were dim as the band filed onto the stage with thunderous applause from the crowd.
While the opening song “In ár gCroíthe go deo” starts slow with harmonies, frontman Grian Chatten showed the crowd that this wouldn’t be a night where he would take it easy. He repeatedly pounded his entire microphone stand into the stage.
BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG.
The look in his eyes seemed like he was ready to go to battle. The tone was set. He circled the stage over and over using the mic stand as a pivot point. It was like he could burst at any moment.
Tom Croll was the driving force of the set. His drumming instilled the energy of Chatten into the bones of the audience. It didn’t feel like many fans were wandering around for drinks or chatting. It was more united from my perspective. That’s a magic that is hard to achieve.
Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, and Connor Deegan III were forces on their own. Each provides their own flair and together provides the melodic backing harmonies that bring Chatten’s blunt lyrical delivery the dimension that make the band stand out.
The setlist was a pretty fair split between their three albums. “A Hero’s Death”, “a Lucid Dream”, “Sha Sha Sha”, and the most recent title track “Skinty Fia” were highlights for me. The band went strong all night and delivered a raucous encore finishing with “Jackie Down the Line”.
I’m not alone in saying that this was a show that shouldn’t have been missed. If you did happen to be elsewhere, it feels likely that that’ll be back again sometime soon – especially since they tend to crank out consistently fantastic albums quickly.