Big Gigs to Check Out This Summer…

Posted: 12/06/2012 in Uncategorized

As published on RTÉ’s on June 12th 2012… Win tickets to some of these gigs HERE!

You have to admire the Irish attitude to life. We’re flat-broke and it rarely stops raining – yet you just can’t keep us away from the simple pleasure of summer evenings spent outdoors in the company of thousands of others singing along with pop & rock royalty. We’ve already taken a look at some of the best festivals happening across Ireland this summer – but for those not willing to sling their tent over their shoulder, there’s certainly no shortage of great one-off gigs going on… This past weekend alone, we had Jay Z & Kanye West unleash their ‘Watch The Throne’ tour on Dublin’s O2 to unanimous hysteria, and Mumford & Sons make their Gentlemen of the Road stop-over in Galway. Missed out on the fun? Not to worry – there are plenty more great gigs going on in the great outdoors this summer, and here’s our top picks for what to check out…

Westlife @ Croke Park

Friday 22nd June & Saturday 23rd July

And now, the end is near, and so they face the final curtain… Love them or hate them, Westlife have had an incredibly successful career since their humble beginnings way back in 1998 – but now the time has come to bid them adieu. The last two dates of their Farewell Tour are set for Croke Park in late June, and it promises to be one hell of a send-off. We’ve had a sneaky peak at the setlist and fans can rest assured that it’s going to be a most wonderful trip down memory lane! Plus, Jedward and The Wanted will be there to warm-up for the main event!

Swedish House Mafia @ Phoenix Park

Saturday 7th July

Swedish House Mafia – AKA Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell – are the house collective responsible for some of the biggest summer anthems of the past few years, and on July 7th they’re all set to turn the Phoenix Park into one massive dancefloor. Sometimes, promoters get it spot on, and this is gonna be one of those occasions – with a stellar lineup of acts to make it not just a wait for the main event but a whole day’s worth of partying! I saw Snoop Dogg @ Lovebox London last summer and he put on one hell of a show, likewise Tinie Tempah at last year’s Oxegen festival, and Calvin Harris is one of the most consistantly brilliant party-starters around. A fun day out in the park for all involved!

Bruce Springsteen @ The RDS

Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th July

There was something definitely missing from last summer, and that was The Boss… Thankfully, he’s back for two nights this July! His 17th studio album Wrecking Ball dropped back in March – passionate, intense, and a firm reminder that Springsteen as an artist is as relevant as he’s ever been. The new songs will fit nicely alongside the classics – but Bruce being Bruce, you never know what you’re gonna get on the night as he lucky-dips into his back catalogue. The void left by the passing of legendary saxophonist and long-time Springsteen collaborator Clarence Clemons will never be filled, but we just know that The E Street Band will give it everything and more to make these shows the 3.5 hour spectacles that we’ve come to expect from The Boss’ taking the stage in the R.D.S!

Rufus Wainwright @ Iveagh Gardens

Wednesday 18th July

The Iveagh Gardens in Dublin is about as beautiful setting for a gig as you’re gonna get, so it’s only fitting that the music played there be just as beautiful. Rufus Wainwright returns to Ireland in support of his latest album ‘Out of the Game’, but it’s not as if he needed an excuse – he’s always welcome! Wainwright’s eclectic back-catalouge and awe-inspiring talent will ensure an evening of powerfully brooding intensity – he makes music to be appreciated in intimate venues played out be a stellar ensemble band, and that is exactly what we’ll get.

Chic feat. Nile Rogers @ Galway Arts Festival Big Top

Thursday 19th July

If their legendary set at 2009’s Electric Picnic is anything to go by, this is gonna be the ultimate party night of the summer! One of the greatest disco acts of all time will be bringing their arsenal of hits to the Big Top – and you better bring your dancing shoes. And as if the presence of Chic wasn’t enough, the brilliant Nouvelle Vague have also recently been added to the lineup – the brainchild of musicians Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, the band have been winning audiences over worldwide since 2004 with their original take of new wave and post-punk classics. With such a dynamic dual billing, this could well be one of the standout shows of this summer. Freak out!!

Madonna @ The Aviva

Tuesday 24th July

If you saw Madonna’s half-time performance at this year’s Superbowl, then you’ll know what to expect from her stop-off in Dublin for this her 9th world tour – lavish, extravagant, over-the-top production to create a total pop spectacle… Even Jean Paul Gaultier is on board, ensuring that Her Madgesty shall be dressed accordingly for the occasion! Recent album release MDNA was met with very mixed reviews, but this should not detract from the occasion – for those in doubt, a quick glance at the setlist shows that this shall be a career-spanning show. Tickets for this one are quite pricey – but there’s no prizes for guessing Madonna’s response to complaints on the matter… Work all year, scrape the money together, and come to my show. I’m worth it.” I for one would be too afriad to argue with her.

James Vincent McMorrow & Lisa Hannigan @ Galway Arts Festival Big Top

Thursday 26th July

Two of Ireland’s finest contemporary musicians, teaming up to take on the Big Top at the Galway Arts Festival – what more could you ask for? Lisa Hannigan may not have the Choice Music Prizes to prove it, but in Sea Sew and Passenger she has produced two of the finest folk albums around – and her live setup does them justice, and then some. It’s been a whirlwind few years for James Vincent McMorrow since the release of his stunning debut Early in the Morning – an album which has taken him around the world and back, delighting the masses everywhere he goes. Both acts perform with an exceptional company of accomplished musicians, which will only add to the occasion. And you never know, there might even be a duet in it… We’ve witnessed McMorrow fill the shoes of Ray Lamontagne on Hannigan’s ‘Oh Sleep’ before, so why not again? Galway native Elaine Mai has also joined the lineup for this one – her impressive looping of instruments and intricate vocal layers will prove a most wonderful bonus!

Foo Fighters & The Black Keys @ Tenants Vital, Belfast

Tuesday 21st August

Get ready to RAWK… The Tuesday evening at this year’s Tenants Vital festival in Belfast will be a traditional rock show of the highest order! All-round live legends Foo Fighters will be leading the charge, alongside The Black Keys whose all-conquering El Camino has made them one of the most sought-after live acts this summer. Joining these two juggernauts of the trade are Dublin’s own The Minutes – no strangers to belting them out themselves, the hits from their brilliant debut Marcata will surely go down a treat.

Two Door Cinema Club @ Belsonic, Belfast

Thursday 23rd August

Debut album Tourist History took them far and wide – and now one of Northern Ireland’s finest acts Two Door Cinema Club will return to a heroes welcome as they are set to headline Custom House Square in Belfast during this year’s Belsonic Festival. Besides eagerly anticipating hearing some new tunes from TDCC, there’s one hell of a supporting cast to look forward to, too – purveyors of indie-folk excellence Noah & The Whale, and band-of-the-moment The Cast Of Cheers whose latest album Family is set to launch them towards cosmic acclaim. A brilliant night of live music in Belfast awaits at this one.

Plus a POP-TASTIC week Live at the Marquee in Cork…

Pop fans are guaranteed a good time in Cork – in the space of the week from June 30th – July 6th, you can experience headline shows from our fearless Eurovision heroes Jedward, all-conquering pop princess Jessie J, the ever-charismatic crooner Olly Murs, and the reunited bubblegum-pop overlords Steps!


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