Picture This to John Grant: This week’s rock and pop gigs

Sharon Van Etten, Maverick Sabre, Keuning, The Internet and more

Picture This has a five-night run at 3Arena, Dublin

Picture This has a five-night run at 3Arena, Dublin

 

SHARON VAN ETTEN

Vicar St Dublin 7.30pm €25 (sold out) ticketmaster.ie

US singer and songwriter Sharon Van Etten has had her life flipped around over the past five years. Not only did she become a mother but she also returned to college to study psychology (in order, she has said, to help people better understand the art of communication and their emotions). Amidst such time constraints, Van Etten wrote and recorded songs for her recently released album, Remind me Tomorrow, which is destined to land on Best of 2019 lists by December. In the meantime, there are her live performances to consider. For this sold-out show, think a smouldering mix of pop, rock and soul from start to end. TCL

WILD YOUTH

Olympia Theatre Dublin 7pm €18.50 (sold out) ticketmaster.ie

Another Irish band that has improved in leaps and bounds over the past three years, Wild Youth cheekily borrow from various areas of the pop/rock spectrum (hints of 1975, whispers of The Script, screams of Imagine Dragons) and whip up a blend of something that strikes all the right popular notes. We have watched, without too much surprise, their profile rise across the past few years, with radio-friendly songs such as All or Nothing, Lose Control, and Can’t Move On making a strong case for the band’s international appeal. The sold-out status of the show is another indicator. Expect their debut album to be released before the end of the year. TCL

SWIM #1

Upstairs at Tengu Yamamori, Dublin €7 eventbrite.ie

SWIM is a brand new club night brought to you from DJs, producers and musicians that form the Swim Kollektiv. Playing dance, hip-hop, soul, jazz, world and alternative music, they just want you to have a good time and dance until you can dance no more. The inaugural SWIM will have 2XM DJ Graham Smyth (aka Mr Myth) and Royal Yellow at the helm and at the decks. The venue has max capacity of 200 so take the dive now with tickets. LB 

Sunday, March 24

I HEART ARETHA

Whelan’s Dublin 8pm €16.50 whelanslive.com

Once again the I Heart House Band get together to celebrate the music of a highly influential if not iconic artist. This time, it’s soul queen Aretha Franklin, who passed away last August. As with previous tribute shows to musicians and songwriters (which have included Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Prince), the house band consists of the cream of players and vocalists. Also (as has been proven), when they say very special guests that is exactly what they mean. To which there can only be one response: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. TCL

NAO

Vicar Street, Dublin €24.99 ticketmaster.ie

When NAO played Electric Picnic in 2016, it was her first time performing in Ireland and she didn’t have to try too hard to gain the crowd’s affection performing music from her debut album For All We Know. With her slick 90s-inspired R&B and neo-soul musical stylings , she turned the afternoon slump on its head. The singer from Nottingham continues to keep us dancing with her second album Saturn so if you missed her the first time, don’t make that mistake twice. LB

Monday, March 25

KEUNING

Academy Green Room 7pm €19.50 ticketmaster.ie

It seems that the touring life of a musician is good for one thing: stockpiling all of those voice memos on your smartphone and then – when you’re off the road – turning them into songs. That’s what Dave Keuning, co-founding member of The Killers, has been working at since he stopped being part of the band for live shows. Now with a debut album, Prismism, under the belt and let loose from the pressures of a heavy touring schedule, Keuning is returning to and reconnecting with what inspired him in the first place: a sense of place and time, and a love of music. Special guests are Irish electronic pop group Tiny Magnetic Pets. TCL

Tuesday, March 26th

The Internet

Olympia Theatre, Dublin €30.68 ticketmaster.ie

The last time that The Internet performed in Ireland, like NAO, they conquered the slump that can be associated with the afternoon slot at a festival. Playing at Longitude last summer, the R&B, hip-hop and funk collective from Los Angeles saved the drizzly day with the sun-kissed tunes from their fourth album Hive Mind. That being said, their arrangements and overall zen-like vibe is better suited to an intimate venue like the Olympia. LB

Wednesday, March 27th

JOHN GRANT

UCH Limerick 8pm €40 uch.ie; also Thursday, March 28th, Opera House, Cork 8pm €32 corkoperahouse.ie

Always a welcome visitor to Ireland, John Grant plugs his latest album, Love is Magic, yet another collection of songs that highlight the songwriter’s strengths as one of the most expressive and witty around. Grant will surely be culling tunes from his previous albums (2010’s Queen Of Denmark, 2013’s Pale Green Ghosts, and 2015’s Grey Tickles, Black Pressure) so there’ll be no shortage of breathtaking moments. The brief nationwide tour continues Saturday, March 30th, Leisureland, Galway; Sunday, March 31st, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin. TCL

PICTURE THIS

3Arena Dublin 6.30pm €57.13/€51.92 ticketmaster.ie; also Thursday/Friday (sold out), same venue

If you had said to Picture This three years ago that they’d be headlining the country’s largest indoor venue and charging more than €50 per ticket, they would have laughed at you while probably hoping against hope that it would be true. The Athy band have certainly come a long way from their origins as little more than a duo (Jimmy Rainsford, Ryan Hennessey), yet within the space of a few years and two albums (2017’s self-titled debut, this year’s MDRN LV) have bridged the gaps that lesser acts would fall into. Picture This continue their five-night run at 3Arena until Sunday, March 31st (Saturday show sold-out). TCL 

Thursday, March 28

OLIVIA CHANEY

The Studio, National Concert Hall, Dublin 8.30pm €17 nch.ie; also Friday, March 29th, The Duncairn, Belfast 8pm £15 theduncairn.com

Graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. Self-teacher of guitar and Indian harmonium. Acclaimed multi-instrumentalist. Classically trained singer and pianist Olivia Chaney is something else, a songwriter who combines folk music’s gritty earthiness with a minimalistic approach to melody. It is no wonder that she is signed to New York’s Nonesuch, a record label that knows how to work out the internal logic of mavericks (it is home, also, to other kindred spirits such as Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson). Chaney’s latest album, Shelter, collected deserved praise from broadsheet (“luminous” – Observer) and tabloid (“a triumph” – Daily Mirror) alike. Crikey – she must be doing something right. TCL

White Lies

Róisín Dubh, Galway €25 roisindubh.net

Smack bang in the middle of their European tour, White Lies are throwing in a mini Irish tour to flaunt their latest album Five. Playing in Dublin’s The Button Factory on March 26th and 29th, the indie band from London are filling that Dublin sandwich with gigs in Cork’s Cyprus Avenue on the 27th and Galway’s Róisín Dubh on the 28th, before going up to Belfast’s Elmwood Hall on the 30th. Nothing like a leisurely pre-Brexit tour in Ireland, right? LB

EMPRESS OF

Whelan’s Dublin 8pm €18 whelanslive.com

Honduran-American singer-songwriter and record producer Lorely Rodriguez began her career in music seven years ago and anonymously but quickly picked up the branding pace a year later with the release of her bilingual EP, Systems. From that point onwards, it has been go-go-go: showcasing her talents at SXSW and Iceland Airwaves; and supporting the likes of Jungle, Kimbra, and Florence + the Machine. Rodriguez’s second album, Us, was released last year, and further consolidates the woman’s knack for (as Slant Magazine has it), “crisp production, unguarded lyricism and artful melodies”. TCL

Friday, March 29

CHERRY GLAZERR

Whelan’s Dublin 8pm €15 whelanslive.com

“Grunge pop grandeur” – that’s how this paper described Los Angeles band Cherry Glazerr’s third album, Stuffed & Ready, a few months ago. Formed over six years ago by the highly focused guitarist/songwriter/singer Clementine Creevy, there is single-mindedness here that other acts would surely envy. Aligned with such clarity is the music, which is the kind of crunchy/gritty pop that American bands can do so well. And don’t forget Creevy’s sense of humour; anyone that calls an album Apocalipstick (Cherry Glazerr’s second) is fine by us. TCL

Maverick Sabre

Cyprus Avenue, Cork €25 cyprusavenue.ie

Maverick Sabre is experiencing a bit of a comeback. It’s been four years since his last album Innerstanding, and seven years since his debut Lonely are the Brave, and the London-Irish pop-soul singer is back with When I Wake Up, a creative and thoughtful album that explores the complex themes of society, faith, relationships, hope and hurt. It’s a skilful portrayal of different perspectives in the world he inhabits. He will be bringing this show to Dublin’s The Academy on March 30th. LB

Alma

The Academy, Dublin €23.60 ticketmaster.ie

Alma is the Finnish pop star with green hair, great hooks and a tough-as-nails attitude. With peers and collaborators in Dua Lipa, Tove Lo, French Montana, Charli XCX and Mø, she weaves between the genres of chart pop, electro pop and R&B while retaining a goth-punk aesthetic. When I Die is a bravado-filled pop song that’s particularly worth your attention. Alma’s debut album Have You Seen Her? will be released on April 5th. LB

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