While their real homecoming was the previous night in Belfast’s tiny Limelight, the scale of Two Door Cinema Club’s debut in Dublin’s O2 is not lost on the band as frontman Alex Trimble, earnestly overwhelmed, gushes at the size of the show mid-way through their set. After spending the closing month of 2012 touring Australia and Japan, a 10,000 people large welcoming party is a sure sign that you are doing something right.
Arriving a half hour before The Cast of Cheers assemble on stage, it becomes apparent just how popular this band has become from the size of the crowd – already several people deep at the front of the stage – and when they rev up the response is something akin to what is usually reserved for a headline act. ‘Animals’ garners the biggest cheers, with the audience – hands aloft, mobile phone screens raised above their heads in the hopes of capturing the moment – visibly enthralled by the band’s kinetic energy.
Some may have thought placing Jape between the ex-pats and the headliners a mistake. Even the simple fact that they appear on stage in relative darkness compared to Cast of Cheers fully lit sonic boom may against them; but then Richie Egan rarely disappoints and this, a major step up in venue, is no exception. Peppering the set with tracks from their past decade of graft, they keep the tempo upbeat and the beats consistent. When they finally segue into a beefed up version of ‘Floating’ they have the crowd in the palm of their hand – even though some of the younger contingent seemed unaware as to who they were twenty minutes ago.
When Two Door Cinema Club finally make their way on stage, the arena has filled to what looks like capacity for their largest ever headline performance. That sense of occasion is quickly infectious as they spring straight into ‘Sleep Alone’ – a rousing way to open, with Trimble’s soft lilt floating over the crowd until the drums announce the band’s arrival. While the new material is well received, it is the tracks from Tourist History that receive the biggest reaction. ‘This Is The Life’, ‘Something Good Can Work’ and ‘Undercover Martyn’ are greeted with something approaching rapture, and as oversized balloons cascade from the ceiling towards the end of their set there is a palpable party atmosphere resounding throughout the venue.
Returning for their obligatory encore, they close with tried and tested ‘What You Know’. Starting with Trimble on keys, singing the opening bars unaccompanied by his fellow band members it is clear how beneficial the past year touring Beacon has been for them. Trimble is now a front man proper: whereas before he had a tendency to come across as shy and withdrawn from the spotlight being thrust on them, experience has made him an entertaining, confident frontman. And while it is great to see them spread their sound over the international stage, it’s been nice to welcome them close to home.
Photo: Paulo Goncalves (courtesy of Nialler9)