Gallery: Damien Dempsey / Starsailor – Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 07.07.2023

Damien Dempsey by Liam Murphy

Last night, July 7th, Damien Dempsey kicked off this year’s ‘Live At The Iveagh Gardens’ series with the first of his two sold-out nights.

The self-proclaimed ‘Irish Royalty’ took to the beautiful scenic garden grounds for a two-hour jam-packed set full of song, dance, emotion, and passion.

The night kicked off at 7:45 with support from post-Britpop band Starsailor, made up of guitarist and vocalist James Walsh, drummer Ben Byrne, bassist James Stelfox, and keyboardist Barry Westhead.

The band, who formed in 2000, played a 45-minute set to get the crowd dancing and warmed up.

Then came a 30-minute changeover, accompanied by Irish music hits such as Fields of Athenry, Grace, and Molly Malone, all songs that had the crowd hooked, as they shuffled their way forward awaiting the main man of the night: Damo.

At 9pm, on his own with only an acoustic guitar, the 6ft 2 ‘Irish Lion’, as described in his Instagram bio, walked onstage, to the roar of fans.

Dempsey’s set ran until 11 as he raced through his 20+ year long discography, with the majority of the songs including some crowd interaction, such as a singalong brought on only by the movement on an outstretched arm with a microphone.

From hit songs such as ‘Apple of My Eye’, ‘Sing All Our Cares Away’, and ‘Negative Vibes’, to a cover of Aslan’s ‘Crazy World’, paying tribute to the loss of Christy Dignam; this set had it all, and more.

There’s something magic about a Damien Dempsey concert that can’t quite be described to anyone unless you’ve witnessed a show yourself. Do yourself a favour and catch a Damo gig when you can, you’ll thank me later.

‘Live At The Iveagh Gardens’ runs until July 22nd, with performances from Kaleo, The Waterboys, Father John Misty, Two Door Cinema Club, Bell X1, and Imelda May. Very limited tickets remain for some shows, with others being sold out already.

All tickets can be found here.

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