Notes from a Quiet Land, Madison Beer and La Bohème in your home: This week’s unmissable events
Online this week: Other Voices, The Hold Steady, Maximo Park and more
Singer and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy is among Ireland’s leading female artists featuring in the National Concert Hall’s Notes from a Quiet Land
The Hold Steady Weekender: Live from Brooklyn Bowl
Friday, March 5th, and Saturday, March 6th, 8pm, $20 (€17), $35 (€29), $45 (€37) stream.fans.live
No greater sacrifice can a band make than to get up before teatime to play a special gig for their loyal fans. This Brooklyn band has many loyal fans on this side of the pond, who will be disappointed that the band can’t make it across the Atlantic to host their annual weekender in London. So vocalist Craig Finn and his bandmates have decided to stage a virtual weekender instead on Friday and Saturday, live from their local bowling alley in Williamsburg. And just to facilitate their transatlantic fans, the band are hitting the stage at the ungodly hour of 3pm New York time – which is like the middle of the night to rock stars – just so fans here can crack open a beer and tune in at 8pm Irish time. The band are back to full strength since the return of their polymath keyboard player and co-songwriter Franz Nicolay. They will be plugging their well-received eighth album, Open Door Policy, which sees Finn amp up the Everyman lyricism. Think Springsteen in storytelling mode with The Replacements’ ragged edges. They’ll be playing two different sets each night, so why not binge out by purchasing the special two-night package for $35 (€29). Set up the den: looks like this weekend will be dad-rocker heaven.
Notes from a Quiet Land
Saturday March 6th, 8pm, free, nch.ie
It sure has been quiet around here since the pandemic hit – but it feels like an unnatural silence, and many of us are hoping we can get back to our noisy lives again. This concert to celebrate International Women’s Day will give us plenty to shout about. Notes from a Quiet Land, live-streamed free from the National Concert Hall in Dublin, features some of Ireland’s leading female singers, writers and poets, including Maria Doyle Kennedy, Gemma Dunleavy, Anne Enright, Fehdah, Felispeaks, Tara Flynn, Sinéad Gleeson, Aoife Nessa Frances and Annemarie Ní Churreáin, all of whom will be giving their creative responses to the eerie silence which has descended on our streets, venues and daily lives over the past year. The event is curated by writer Sinéad Gleeson and Gary Sheehan of the National Concert Hall.
Other Voices Cardigan 2021
March 6th and 7th, othervoices.ie
Other Voices has in recent times branched out from its spiritual home in Dingle, Co Kerry, with strands in Ballina, Co Mayo, and in the Welsh town of Cardigan. With all that Brexit has wrought, it’s good to see the Republic and Wales coming together in a musical joint effort, and it is a reminder of the many similarities between our two cultures. Other Voices Cardigan is part of Gwyl 2021 festival and, as Other Voices founder Philip King says: “Mae’n hyfryd o beth i bob un ohonom yn Other Voices i ddychwelyd i Gymru.” (“It’s a great delight for all of us at Other Voices to be returning to Wales.”) Guests at the event are Juice Menace, Ani Glass, Aoife Ní Bhriain, Berwyn, Catrin Finch, Sinead O’Brien and The Gentle Good.
Black Country, New Road: Live Stream from the Queen Elizabeth Hall
Saturday March 6th, 8pm, £10 (€12), dice.fm
We’re just two months into 2021 and already we have a new band that’s shaking up the music scene and splitting opinion down the middle. For many, Black Country, New Road’s sound, an explosive blend of electro, jazz, math-rock and ambient, is a refreshing splash of sonic energy, perfect for shaking off the Covid cobwebs of 2020. Coldplay fans, however, might find their free-association approach to music and lyrics a little outside their comfort zone. But we highly recommend you check out the debut album from this adventurous London seven-piece, entitled For the First Time, and keep an open mind (and a couple of earplugs). The band were supposed to be playing a gig in Whelan’s in Dublin on Saturday 27th, which has now been put back, so this live stream from the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank will have to serve as the next best thing.
Maximo Park: Live from the Riverside in Newcastle Live Stream
Saturday, March 6th, 8:30pm, €17, maxmiopark.es
You may have all but forgotten about the Newcastle band that arrived on the scene in the early noughties. But Maximo Park’s new album, Nature Always Wins, has gone straight to the upper reaches of the official charts and is a reminder that the band is still a force to be reckoned with. They’ve gone through a few changes over the past few years, losing their original bassist and keyboard player, but the core trio of Paul Smith, Duncan Lloyd and Tom English is still as fired-up and tightly coiled as ever, and brimming with barely contained energy.
Madison Beer presents: Life Support in Concert
Sunday, March 7th, 8pm, £14-£150 (€16-€173), universe.com
The US internet sensation Madison Beer is releasing her debut album, Life Support, eight years after posting her first cover on YouTube, and it’s fitting that she’s going virtual for her first live performance of the album. Beer was catapulted to stardom when Justin Bieber clocked her YouTube videos and she’s endured all the trolling, baiting, shaming and blaming the internet can throw at her, emerging with a well-rounded pop debut that sees her coming of age as a fully fledged pop star. Beer will be performing this show with a full band and we’re promised some spectacular visuals and an interactive fan experience. You can choose from several levels of admission to this concert, from general admission tickets with cool Madison Beer merchandise, to the full VIP meet-and-greet package, which brings you a virtual one-on-one encounter with your new pop idol.
Puccini’s La Bohème
Saturday, March 13th, 7.30pm, €20-€28, bordgaisenergytheatre.ie
We’ve missed going to the big musicals at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. You can’t beat a big, costumed extravaganza with lots of roof-raising tunes to lift your spirits. While we wait for the day we can get back into venues, the theatre has teamed up with the Irish National Opera to bring a live-streamed performance of La Bohème, Puccini’s tale of youthful passion in Paris. Celine Byrne stars as Mimi, with Lithuanian tenor Merunas Vitulskis as Rolofo, backed up by the 62-piece National Opera Orchestra conducted by Sergio Alapont. Add in the Irish National Opera Chorus and a children’s choir and you’ll be glad you’ve got a big, wide-screen television to fully capture the spectacle.