High Hopes as Kodaline perform in Sydney – A Review
Sydney’s Enmore Theatre was filled to capacity on Saturday 23rd of March as a diverse crowd welcomed the return of Irish band Kodaline, who last performed in Australia in 2014. Back then, they had just one album to their name – ‘In a Perfect World‘. Their first album is a combination of folk-rock songs, with emotional and powerful lyrics being at the forefront.
Fast forward five years, Kodaline have released two more albums, with the most recent one ‘The Politics of Living‘, which their Asia and Australia tour is named after. This album is more rock and pop, with the songs being upbeat and boppy while the lyrics remain just as eloquent.
View this post on Instagram
The night started out with support act Hollie Col, a young Sydney singer-songwriter. Her music was well written and very catchy, allowing the crowd to get right into it. She also played a couple of covers such as ‘Losing my Religion’ by REM and ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac, which the crowd sang along to and loved.
After a solid set with her band, it was time for the main act. Kodaline burst onto the stage with their recent hit ‘Follow Your Fire‘, complete with a veil of smoke and a high amount of stage lighting. At times the lighting was a bit too bright and did cause fans to divert their eyes often.
They continued to play a mixture of songs from all of their albums, seamlessly shifting from upbeat, boppy songs to the more sombre and emotional ballads.
Lead singer Steve Garrigan did not talk to the crowd much, and it took until the fifth song for him to string a few sentences together and really engage with the crowd.
Whilst the upbeat songs got the crowd up dancing and clapping, it was the slower songs that were really special and made the concert feel more intimate. After belting out ‘Head Held High‘, the other members of the band left the stage, leaving just Garrigan and his acoustic guitar. He explained to the crowd that the song he was about the play was one he ‘wrote as a wedding gift for a friend’, his most honest confession to the crowd and something that was missing throughout the rest of the show. Garrigan then started singing ‘The One‘, the emotion pouring out of his voice and leaving the audience captivated while filling the theatre with their phone lights.
Garrigan then announced that ‘Love Will Set You Free‘ would be there the last song. Towards the end of the piece, the lead singer left the stage, only to appear on the balcony of the theatre amongst the crowd! It was a welcome surprise and showed that he isn’t afraid to work a crowd.
View this post on Instagram
Whilst the band all left the stage, the crowd began to get louder. They began chanting ‘All I Want’ and ‘High Hopes’, the band’s two most popular and loved songs. The band rushed back to the stage and broke into ‘All I Want’ seemingly gaining energy from the crowd and lifting a gear.
But they saved the best for last. As soon as Garrigan started playing the ‘High Hopes’ chords on the piano the atmosphere really lifted. Everyone was singing along twice as loud as they had been. Kodaline really worked the song well, singing it through before repeating the last half of the song, so everyone could soak in the lyrics and the atmosphere. It was the perfect end to a concert none of those in attendance would forget any time soon.