Words: Max Falvey // Pictures: Liam Murphy
Over two years on from supporting The 1975 for her last Dublin show on the brink of the pandemic, badass British-Filipino indie rockstar Beabadoobee stormed the 3Olympia last night for the first show of her tour in support of ‘Beatopia’, her second and highly critically acclaimed record. With two brilliant albums and a beautifully catchy EP emerging from Bea and her band since they last played in Ireland, performing here now is not only a more well-rounded artist, but a girl blooming in songwriting creativity, with a slightly altered band that possesses an archaic presence that will blow any audience away, and that they did.
Support on the night came from New York based 3-piece punk outfit, Pretty Sick. These guys absolutely rocked, getting an instant ovation from a mostly unfamiliar crowd. They opened with the cacophonous ‘Heaven’ from their first LP, ‘Makes Me Sick, Makes Me Smile’, with the screams from the crowd at times drowning out the band themselves. Going in blind to this band myself, this had me hooked pretty quickly, especially with the final moments of the song being so intense. Lead singer Sabrina Fuentes’ droning vocals really blended well with her band’s moody punk vibe, as both her and fellow bandmate Orazio Argentero were both playing bass guitar. Orazio’s bass playing was unbelievable to watch, as he shredded his four-string Danelectro, getting such a varied and kickass sound. To end their set, Sabrina said to the crowd, “I don’t know if you guys are familiar with our music, but would you rather hear ‘Human Condition’ or ‘Dumb?’”. To the crowds request, they played ‘Dumb’, and brought to an end what was just an awesome opening set.
Bea came out to a deafening reaction from the Irish crowd, and opened her eagerly anticipated set with ‘10:36’, the second track from ‘Beatopia’, and she was unable to hide her smile while singing. Very little material from Bea’s first few EP’s made its way into this brand new setlist as out of the 21 songs that were played, only 3 pre-dated her debut album, 2020’s ‘Fake It Flowers’. One of these was the beautiful ‘Apple Cider’, which was played second. As the show progressed, ‘Fairy Song’ from the new album was given its live debut and some of my favourites from ‘Fake It Flowers’ were given the run out, like ‘Worth It’, ‘Together’ and ‘Charlie Brown’. Bea’s backing band of Jacob Bugden on guitar, Eliana Sewell on bass and Luca Caruso on drums were so phenomenal, with each being so powerful in their roles and creating such a unique overall indie rock sound. Jacob’s guitar licks are a particularly crazy level of good.
About three-quarters into the set, Bea introduced ‘See You Soon’ as her favourite song off ‘Beatopia’, but it was stopped halfway through as a fan had fainted and Bea caught the signals of people requesting some help. Once everything was sorted, the song was restarted and the surprisingly rowdy mosh pits could resume. My absolute favourites of ‘She Plays Bass’ (an eternal banger of a song) and ‘He Gets Me So High’ closed out the main set, before Bea returned to the stage on her own for the encore and sat on a stool with her acoustic guitar. She performed her iconic piece that is ‘Coffee’, and Jacob then joined her on stage, sitting on the drum riser behind her also equipped with an acoustic, and they performed ‘Ripples’ for the very first time. Bea sighed with relief after they successfully strummed the final chord, and the full band returned to the stage to end the show with the raucous ‘Cologne’. Beabadoobee and her band never fail to disappoint, and produced another blinder of a show, and I’m praying that they return to Dublin soon. Thank you for reading.