Thanks to Loads of Music I got a last minute invite to the sold out Dermot Kennedy show at Papiersaal last night. I was pretty excited since this Irish lad got hyped the last few months. I wanted to see for myself if this hype and my Artist2watch is justified or not.
Dermot Kennedy chose Sam Fender as his supporting act. I am sure you’ll be hearing more of this British talent from Newcastle. He was named onto the BBC Sound of 18 list and yesterday we got to see more of this young artist. His 7 song set started with “All is on my side” and “Living without”. My favourite song was “Millennial”. It was very powerful. He mentioned that normally he’s playing with a band but today he was alone on stage with 2 guitars and a keyboard.
After some more jokes he continued with “Greasy Spoon”, “Start again” and “Hold out”. He finished the set on the keyboard and sang a powerful ballade called “Use”. I like the set and I am sure that we’ll be hearing more of him soon.
Dermot Kennedy came on stage shortly after 9. He seemed like he was either sick or drunk. He wore trainers, a hoodie and a hat it seemed like he was ready for bed. Dermot Kennedy started his set with “Evening” and his incredible voice resonated through the venue. You could hear a pin drop and no-one was chatting. It really was a special atmosphere. He continued with “A Closeness” and “All my friends”. All of his songs are slow ones and his voice is full of struggle and pain. The stories he tells with his songs are powerful and full of emotions.
After each song he said a quiet thank you and if we were lucky he murmured a short explanation into the mic how the song came about. I was actually asking myself how people understand him who don’t know English that well. He didn’t make us feel welcomed even though he is still a new artist. Tom Grennan has got some pretty deep sh*t as well but he has been a joy to watch. He looked at the audience spoke with us and owned the stage. I am honestly not sure if Dermot Kennedy is arrogant, shy or just doesn’t give a damn anymore.
My highlight of the set was “Young & Free”. This will be his next single. I loved it and enjoyed this song a lot. I was fascinated by the drummer Micheal who was super passionate and did an amazing job! Dermot Kennedy said that everyone has a place or a person to go to where you feel safe. So for him it’s a little island off the west coast of Ireland and this is what the next song “For Island Fires and Family” is about. I spent the whole song listening to his every word. A very beautiful ballade and my depressing mood skyrocketed. Like I already mentioned in my Artist2watch post Taylor Swift put “Boston” on her Spotify playlist and we got to listen to it live now.
Apparently it was the best time in Dermot Kennedy’s life busking on the streets of Boston. On the Setlist it says “Malay” but it doesn’t have a name yet. It’s a new song and a work in progress. The song everyone knew came on “Moments Passed” and a little more than just the super fans started singing a long. “Glory” and “After Rain” finished the set without an encore. After 50 mins Dermot Kennedy has done his job for the day. He left a sold out venue wanting more and clapping and wooping for minutes hanging. People couldn’t believe that it was finished already and hung back. Only after a few minutes of disbelief people started queuing up to reclaim their jacket.
I felt his struggle. But was it also a struggle to be on stage for him? I was left wondering and a bit disappointed to be honest. I get the hype around his voice but I don’t think he deserves a hype around his person. If he really was sick he could have told us. I think everyone would have understood. But his performance yesterday doesn’t make me want to see him again which is a shame really.
Did you feel the struggle? Leave me a reply below and share your opinion on Dermot Kennedy.