It’s a rainy Monday night and yet another sold out show at the o2 Academy in Birmingham for 2022. Support from Wunderhorse lets the crowd know what they’re in for this evening though the chants of “football’s coming home” is a far cry from the show they’re about to receive from Dublin’s post-punk band. Arriving on stage 15 minutes later than promised, Fontaines D.C. start their show with a romantic feel. The house lights dim and red spot lights are shone on rose covered fences at the back of the stage; as soft music welcomes all 5 of them on stage, it’s feels as though we’re about to experience a Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons show. This doesn’t last long.
The first note of a ‘A Hero’s Death‘ ensures that every last hand is in the air and there is not a single song on tonight’s setlist that isn’t welcomed with a girlish squeal though those screams only seem to intensify every single time lead singer Grian Chatten does literally anything (including picking up a tamborine.) More chants, this time of the “Deano” variety, leave me slightly confused as I’m not sure who they’re for though this may have just been my hearing. Regardless, the further into the night we get, the more I feel like I’m at a modern day version of a ‘The Smiths’ show; their edgy rock sound verging on spoken word is quite different to anything else I’ve been to and whilst I was enjoying the show, this crowd are loving every second of it. As ‘Skinty Fia‘ ends, Grian lets us know that there’s an injury in the pit, his clear instructions of “make space & stay calm” are followed by his doting audience and the issue is resolved considerably quicker than when the same issue occurred for Sigrid in the same space not too long ago.
Whilst Grian‘s energy on stage doesn’t seem to last past the first 3 songs, his voice doesn’t falter and neither does the talent of the rest of Fontaine D.C.‘s members. Song number 7, ‘Big Shot‘ seems to be a crowd favourite so far and it’s a breath of a fresh air to see how respectful this crowd are. A lot of sold out shows at the o2 Academy can be an absolute nightmare but from what I can see, tonight isn’t one of those nights. As the night moves on ‘Nabokov‘ takes over as the loudest cheer so far and the build up on ‘How Cold Love Is‘ gives the room an atmosphere that truly has to be felt to be believed. Standing from the back of the room, it’s awesome to watch people get on other mates shoulders, swing their t-shirts and generally just have the time of their lives as we’re treated to ‘A Lucid Dream‘. There’s no talking between songs from anyone on stage which is absolutely fine – they have come to play there hearts out and that exactly what they’re going to do. ‘Roy’s Tune‘ helps to keep the energy of the room not that that was going anywhere fast.
There is an air of romanticism throughout the whole show; from the rose covered fences to the neon Fontaines D.C. sign that changes colour, the production value of the show from start to finish adds to the whole feel of the evening. Whilst the night as a whole is relatively uneventful and there’s not too much to report on, it’s obviously why Fontaines D.C. are making such big waves at the moment, especially when you get to see them in action.