by / December 20th, 2017 /

Lists: State’s Gigs of 2017

Lankum – Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick

It’s a wonderfully immersive atmosphere they create. They’re so knowledgeable about the music they play – the songs, who sang them, where they came from. Soaked in tradition, but sounding so new. It’s rich and romantic. The band can have you roaring with laughter one minute, and completely captivated the next. Their harmonies are beautiful, sounding both ancient and contemporary. They transcend any venue. (Ray Burke)

Nervous Conditions – Birthdays in Dalston, London

Thrilling, unusual Cambridge band with two drummers and a frontman who stalks the stage like Jarvis Cocker’s slightly deranged nephew. Despite their obvious admiration of bands like Can or Captain Beefheart, no one else sounds like them at the moment. (Kara Manning)

LCD Soundsystem – Olympia Theatre – Dublin – Friday 29th September

Definitely a contender for hottest ticket of the year as James Murphy and co made like bandits on payday as they hit the home straight of their three night sell-out stint in the grand old lady of Dame Street. This show had it all; pulsating analogue synths, a gigantic discoball, queues for the pit snaking round the building, BOD in the posh boxes and An Taoiseach getting snubbed by members of the band back stage.

But what about music? The glorious, nonstop party-like-it’s-1999 disco-tastic set had the place bopping from the getgo. From the opening bars of ‘Get Innocuous’ to the climatic choruses of ‘All My Friends’ via a career spanning set of hit after hit, Murphy had us literally dancing in the palms of his sweaty hands. Like those claiming to have been barricaded in the GPO in 1916, expect the attendance of this gig to exponentially multiply over the coming years. And also expect loads of “Yah it was good but the Olympia was wayyyyy better” type comments after their upcoming show in Malahide in June 2018. A truly unforgettable, joyous and incredibly fun night. (Phillip Dunne)

Grizzly Bear – Vicar Street, Dublin

The Brooklyn band’s Vicar Street show this year was an assured start to their European tour, with an inventive lighting rig, a layered, hanging backdrop giving a sense of depth to the stage, and the band’s now-perfected atmospherics coming together. New album Painter Ruins made its presence most felt, although it was when they reached back into their earlier career that the crowd was at its most appreciative. (Justin McDaid)

Ibibio Sound Machine – Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, Manhattan

Joyful New York debut of Eno Williams and her bandmates; a splash of ecstatic summertime magic. (Kara Manning)

Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon – Academy, Dublin

From Beyonce to Black Sabbath, Radiohead to Rage Against the Machine and beyond, Church’s Dungeon brought a delirious, late night at a festival atmosphere to a soulless room in Dublin’s city centre. Joyous. (Séan Ryan)

Kraftwerk – Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin

Visually and musically, this was your typical Kraftwerk show: four Germans of somewhat advanced years standing stoically behind their synths – quiet, emotionless, only now and then tapping a foot or bobbing a head in unison with their flawlessly calibrated beats. Their live show is predictable and stubbornly retrograde yet still remains a strangely fascinating experience. This is Kraftwerk after all. (Ken Fallon)

Vince Staples – Electric Picnic, Stradbally

Appearing in silhouette form for most of the set didn’t hinder Vince Staples’ performance at the Electric Arena in the slightest. The bass-filled production that has been his preferred choice of late never sounded better. He may have had a morose demeanour and lacked any form of crowd interaction, but the tone of the set perfectly melded with his matter of fact style of delivery and dry wit. (Ross Logan)

Future Islands – Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

Future Islands arrived in Dublin at the end of a triumphant jaunt around the four corners of the island but they might have saved their best for last. Under a clouldless sky on a balmy summer’s evening they brought their own unique brand of joy to the Iveagh Gardens, armed with a plethora of brilliant songs and the greatest frontman of the last twenty years, Samuel T. Herring. Glorious. (Ken Fallon)

This is the Kit – Mercury Lounge, New York

Kate Stables and her bandmates exude charm, humor and a zen-like serenity, building intricate songs with shimmering harmonies. An oasis in a chaotic world. (Kara Manning)

Run the Jewels – Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Killer Mike and El-P returned to Ireland for a fourth time to perform a much needed headline show at the Olympia. The structure of the set remained mostly the same from what we had seen previously, but the addition of tracks from Run the Jewels 3 ensured that the crowd were suitably satisfied and worn out by the most entertaining group in hip hop at the moment. (Ross Logan)

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