Fontaines D.C.Evol @ Mountford Hall 2/10/21
Students, late teens, and Radio 6 dads in Clash t-shirts flock to Mountford Hall for an evening that, despite the miserable weather, is brewing with excitement. Everyone is soaked by the rain, but that doesn’t dampen the electric anticipation for Dublin’s FONTAINES D.C.. Sold out and rescheduled, disciples have been waiting for the critically acclaimed post-punk band for almost a year now.
They open proceedings with Televised Mind, the third single from their Brit-nominated second album, A Hero’s Death. It’s the perfect kick off; the crowd waste no time descending into chaos with pints lobbed with brute force and people thrown from one end of the room to the other. The vigour of the crowd an unstoppable creation, and one that hardly pauses for a breather.
Fontaines excel in their lyrics, which often read like ambitious Irish Beat poetry. Frontman Grian Chatten paints witty and searing snapshots of Dublin life that resonate with the wider experiences of today’s youth. It’s unsurprising, then, that his words are clung onto by his adoring fans. Live, songs like Too Real are transformed into assertive and cathartic statements of unapologetic youth, whereas Boys In The Better Land is an anthemic celebration of autonomy. The jovial affirmation, ‘Ah, that’s the spirit!’ resonates with tonight’s crowd, who are tenacious in their pursuit of having a good time. That spirit doesn’t falter, even during slower songs. It’s firm confirmation that Fontaines command the stage and hold their loyal audience in the palm of their hands.
Giant white balloons are dropped onto the crowd as the band gear up to play their departing songs. Liberty Belle – a song reflecting on violence, boredom and their Dublin neighbourhood – is a euphoric call to arms and a thrilling performance that leaves everyone breathless before closing with the morose and moody Dublin City Sky.
Sweaty and sticky and dripping in lager, everyone begins to make their way into the, by now, borderline torrential rain. Awash with the outdoor baptism, the performance felt like a life-affirming and communal release of energy and emotion; the dynamism between artist and fan was an exhilarating back and forth that didn’t wane. Fontaines D.C. have certainly secured their title as one of the most exciting bands of the moment. The faithfulness of their young fans absolutely plays an important part in that; their enthusiasm is so infectious, it’s impossible to ignore the band’s brilliance.