There are anxious whispers about tonight’s turn out. Apparently only 30 people have hit the attend button on Facebook, which coupled with poor weather spells bad news. Bosnian Rainbows (formerly Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group) have changed their name just before the tour kicked off and, with posters around Dublin advertising the latter, this can’t help the ticket sale situation. The tour follows the At the Drive-In reunion, during which Rodriguez Lopez was criticized by fans for his lack of onstage presence. He is one of the most respected names in music and yet the odds are stacked against him tonight. However, word is creeping in from Galway the previous night, with attendees describing it as inspirational. Others are urging people to beg, borrow or steal the funds to make the gig. Apparently we’re in for a treat.
Thankfully, word spreads like wildfire. We’re met with a positive buzz and there is a healthy number there for the opening act Mono/Poly. He plays for over an hour, his mixes are reminiscent of Flying Lotus in parts and provides easy listening for those waiting (impatiently) for Omar to take the stage. Cue Bosnian Rainbows and the Button Factory is wall to wall with excited spectators. This is a group who don’t even have a recording available yet for people to familiarize themselves with, attendance is based purely on the reputation that precedes the musicians onstage. Teresa Suarez (aka Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes fame) is electric as their front woman, she emanates confidence and her love for the music she performs is apparent. It’s easy to forget that she is only 23 years old and pretty new to the music making process; she displays the poise of someone who has been doing it a lot longer.
The chemistry between the group is undeniable, together they are an incredibly tight unit. Deantoni Parks is a treat to watch, to the point where you have to sympathise with any drummer who hasn’t seen him live yet. He not only provides the beats but also manages to ad some synth lines to the mix, as he effortlessly operates his kit and a synthesizer at the same time. Omar Rodriguez Lopez is a completely different person onstage with Bosnian Rainbows. Having witnessed his disappointing performance with ATD-I, tonight restores all faith. He hangs back, lets Teri do the talking and just rocks out. It’s as if he is offstage with us, enjoying it as much as the astonished spectators that look on in amazement.
Towards the end of the set, Omar takes a moment to address the crowd. He thanks everyone for supporting the band, for coming out and ultimately providing the group with the means to do what they love. He is genuinely grateful and it’s remarkable to see first hand how much he thrives on making music. The closing number leaves an elated audience craving for more, fans rush to the stage to shake hands with the group. A night that will be hard to top, a truly inspirational experience.