Gig review: Barry Gibb at the O2 in Dublin
The last Bee Gee standing takes fans back to their disco days
Barry Gibb’s set list included old favourites such as Night Fever and Stayin’ Alive. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
“We’re gonna reel back the years,” announced Barry Gibb at the O2, and he wasn’t joking. Last night’s show at the O2 took the fans back to their disco days and even further back, as Gibb trawled through the Bee Gees’ back catalogue, digging up disco hits, classic ballads and a few oddities along the way.
He’s the last Bee Gee standing, so it’s left to Barry Gibb to carry on the legacy of the band he formed 55 years ago with his brothers Robin and Maurice.
The trio were one of the most successful pop groups of all time, selling in excess of 200 million albums, but with the death of Maurice in 2003 and Robin in 2012, The Bee Gees are officially defunct. Like a trouper, the eldest and surviving Gibb brother is back on the road, resurrecting the Bee Gees’ greatest hits – most of which he’s written – from their early beginnings in Australia to their 1960s nuggets to their megastar disco era, when Saturday Night Fever ruled the pop universe.
It was the death of Robin Gibb last year from cancer that spurred the elder Gibb – now 67 – to come out of retirement with the Mythology Tour.
The Bee Gees only ever played twice in Ireland – in the Adelphi in Dublin in May 1968, and in the RDS Arena in 1998 – but though his brothers are no longer on stage with him, this tour is still a family affair.
His son, guitarist Stephen Gibb, looks like he should be performing Metallica songs and not Bee Gees tunes; he delivers some rock’n’roll moments in a predominantly pop set.
Gibb’s niece, Maurice’s daughter Sammi Gibb, sings something a little more familiar: Chain Reaction, written by the Gibb brothers for Diana Ross.
Some of the crowd may have shrugged their shoulders at some of the more obscure tracks from the band’s vast back-catalogue.
But when Gibb launched into the disco grooves of Jive Talkin’, You Should Be Dancing, Night Fever and Stayin’ Alive, the feet took over as the crowd got up to show just how deep is their love for the Bee Gees timeless classics.