The Coronas @ Petit Campus – February 8, 2018

I only know of this band because I listen to Irish radio. The Coronas play big venues there as they are very popular. This side of the Atlantic they play tiny, intimate venues. Last night in this frigid city they played at Petit Campus, a venue I have not been to hear/see live music in many years. So long that I have forgotten what a wonderful place it is to hear live music. It really lends to an artist or band creating an atmosphere or a vibe and allowing them to connect with their fans.

Connect they did these four lads from Dublin. This is a band which understands that in a live setting it is they and the crowd which makes the show. And the music. Lead singer Danny O’Reilly cajoled and encouraged it out of us. All of us. Was generous of spirit enough to share the spotlight with us. Many of whom had awful voices. Yet together we created something beautiful.

Easy to do as the band’s music is outrageously catchy. Guitar based pop which encourages crowd participation. So we did it out of pleasure and with delight. One big singalong. For those who were not as familiar of the band’s work as others there was still opportunities. Opportunities aplenty. To join in on the great amount of “oohs” and “woahs” that crop up.

Whether up or down tempo most of the band’s songs are about love. Songs like “What a Love” and “Real Feel” show that the depth of a song cannot be measured by its catchy rocky melody. Types of melodies which have been used by plenty a band previously. What is different here? Why does it stand out with this band? Same notes that equal a different result. It is some weird kind of alchemy. The good bands are experts at it.

Part of it is O’Reilly. That man was born to be the frontman of a band. Born to connect with a crowd. That voice. It is not the best, yet it is something that you happily listen to. Besides the voice, he has charisma to burn. Suiting the song he is singing he changes characters from the romantic to the imp to the flirt to the snob. Fearless and then the next moment vulnerable. It is like he is a trained actor supplying all the shades of the songs as they have been written.

The rest of the band is Conor Egan, Graham Knox and Dave McPhillips. They are all great on the instrument they play. Adding something to the music being played in their own way. None move around as much as O’Reilly, though they are not immobile.

Energy was in the room even during the quieter, more piano ballad type songs. It was like all of the couple of hundred there were enjoying a night with their favourite band.

Setlist:

  1. Real Feel
  2. Get Loose
  3. Addicted to Progress
  4. A Bit Withdrawn
  5. Who We Are
  6. Dreaming Again
  7. Heroes or Ghosts
  8. Someone Else’s Hands
  9. Closer to You
  10. What a Love
  11. Mark My Words

Encore:

12. The Long Way

13. San Diego Song

14. Just Like That

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