Live Review: Kerbdog – The Academy, Dublin – 14/11/14

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Photo: Adam Ellison
Kicking off their Congregation Tour in their home of Ireland, Kerbdog tore the roof off The Academy alongside fellow Irish bands Goons and Black Svan.

It’s rare nowadays to see a concert with near-flawless performances from both the headliners and the support acts. Fortunately for those in attendance last night, this was one of those nights. Although only a handful of people witnessed Goon’s set, the band gave it their all and left everything on the stage. Even if it was the band’s first live performance, their experience in other projects shined through as their energy was infectious and left the audience longing for more. Keep an eye on these!

After a quick changeover, Irish metallers Black Svan hit the stage to be greeted by a slightly bigger crowd. Not letting the more-than-half empty venue faze them, they launched into an incredible setlist. With blistering tracks including ’16 Minutes’, ‘Sickness’ and ‘Retribution’, Black Svan wowed everyone listening. Much to the people’s delight, the band finished their set with time for one more song. This led to an impromptu performance of ‘No More’. Although their debut album, ’16 Minutes’, was great, nothing justifies the band’s music like seeing them on stage.

30 minutes after Black Svan’s blisteringly excellent performance, Kerbdog stepped on stage to the roars of the venue which was now packed. They seemed to take their time starting their set, which defused the crowd’s enthusiasm just a little bit. This was soon forgiven as the band kickstarted their night with ‘Pledge’, which immediately encouraged members of the audience to jump, dance, scream and sing.

Humorously christening the tour the  “mid-life crisis tour”, frontman Cormac Battle complained about the band’s lack of “Ferraris and jet skis”, despite the time and effort they’ve put into their music. Even without fancy sports cars, the band’s experience is visible in how they control the stage and their fans. From the get-go, even those not familiar with Kerbdog’s music were hooked, banging their heads and moshing through the crowd.

Unfortunately, The Academy’s early curfew forced the band off stage early, chopping some songs off the planned setlist for the evening. Even still, Kerbdog managed to go through fan favourites including ‘Mexican Wave’, ‘Sally’ and ‘Electricity’. Before playing ‘On The Turn’, Cormac urged the fans to give the security “as much hassle” as they could, making them “earn their money”. This made even the bouncers crack a smile.

Despite the loosely-enforced curfew, Kerbdog were able to rock The Academy for around an hour. The passion and endearment displayed by the band was visible throughout their performance, making their music all the more enjoyable. Overall, this was a night filled with superb music played by energetic musicians. For those residing in the UK, make sure you check out the band’s tour dates as they play a string of gigs over the next week.

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