Dolores O’Riordan

The second thing that strikes you while you are watching Dolores O'Riordan perform live, after the voice, is how comfortable she looks on stage. Saying this about most performers seems rather obvious but not about this petite dynamo from Ireland. If you know anything about her, that is. When she first started out with The Cranberries she used to perform with her back to the crowd because she was so shy. Well, at 35 years of age a crowd no longer intimidates this mother of three. Years of live shows in front of tens of thousands taught her it really wasn't so bad especially when you possess her type of talent.

Montreal has always been a 'different' type of city when it comes to what we appreciate musically. Acts like Pink Floyd, Supertramp and The Cranberries always did well here before anywhere else in North America. Well, it seems as if those that were fans of The Cranberries have followed Dolores on to her new solo journey and the adoration is just as vocal. From the minute she took the stage during the intro music for "Zombie" the noise in the place was deafening at times. Any move she made, including her well known by fans slinky spider-like dance moves, on stage was greeting by a new round of cheers. The large crowd on hand at Metropolis was eating it up. Dolores had just recently released a solo album, "Are You Listening?" and her fans don't seem to be upset that it took her four years to record. The 100 minute set was almost equally divided between Cranberries material and her new solo stuff. While The Cranberries material did garner the largest applause the crowd enjoyed the new stuff and were even singing along with a couple of them. Moving from acoustic guitar to electric guitar and then on to the tin whistle (the Irish version of the flute) this woman could do no wrong. She seemed really touched that the fans had stuck with her during her hiatus and rewarded those in attendance by singing with a passion rarely seen nowadays. It did not for one moment seem like she was doing her job, but rather singing what was in her heart and mind.

Now, I know that some folks have complained that the show was too loud, but these are obviously not people who have seen her perform before. She has always played loud as such I have always thought that it's best to gauge these things by the crowd reaction and they did not seem to be complaining. Actually it was completely the opposite as they were cheering, stamping their feet for more (a new one I hadn't seen before) and singing at the tops of their voices along with her. It was loud but the volume really typifies the type of music and passion this woman plays/sings with. The idea behind the Jazz Fest as I understand it is inclusiveness and celebration of different types of music. This is why artists like Van Morisson and Bob Dylan, who are not jazz musicians, can be part of this Jazz Festival. If Metallica were booked to play the Jazz Fest would we expect them to turn down the volume? No, we would go with open ears and open minds and not care if our ears were buzzing a little after the show as long as the artists stay true to themselves. And that is exactly the type of show we saw Friday night and it was great!

Setlist:
1) Zombie
2) Angel Fire
3) Animal Instinct
4) Apple of My Eye
5) Ordinary Day
6) Ode to My Family
7) Human Spirit
8) Stay With Me
9) Black Widow
10) Pretty
11) When You're Gone
12) I Can't Be With You
13) Loser
14) Salvation
15) When We Were Young
Encore:
16) Just My Imagination
17) Linger
18) October
19) Dreams

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