Dublin pop-rockers The Script kicked off the Irish leg of their Freedom Child tour last night in the SSE Arena Belfast – it was loud, full of fun and had some fantastic staging. The crowd cheered, danced and sang along as the band got up close and personal throughout.
In fact leader singer Danny O’ Donoghue could not be contained on stage, he wanted to be in the audience and some of attempts where somewhat curtailed by security at the venue for safety. The band seemed to enjoy every moment of the gig and where physically jumping with adrenaline and joy.
Freedom Child, the fifth studio album, was released in the summer and seen the group explore new territory so the gig was full of tracks both old and new.
Beginning the concert by bursting from behind some large drapes at the back of the arena, the band kicked into a lively rendition of their hit “Superheroes” quickly followed by “Rock The World”. With Danny walking through the sold out arena to their anthem “Paint the Town Green” he was accompanied by green lighting and bursts of green glitter from the stage, waving and giving high fives to adoring fans on his way.
Moving swiftly into new song “t’s Not Right For You”, the band then took a change in tempo as lead singer Danny O’ Donoghue took a seat at the front of the stage lamenting about his last visit to Belfast ending in a deadly hangover and coaxing the audience into a singalong to one of their biggest hits, “The Man That Can’t Be Moved”. The first, but not the last, singalong of the night.
In fact, the audience sang along all night after being encouraged by O’Donoghue and co. The arena lights lifted throughout so the band could see their audience whilst they performed. My favourite point of the night had to be the performance of new song “No Man Is An Island” from Freedom Child, removing his jacket and with a glint in his eye. The singer asked ‘will we have some fun?’ before launching into the bouncy reggae-esque track before introducing a mass dance move titled “Crowd Control”, which is a sight to be seen as a few thousand people bounced from left to right.
The fun didn’t stop there, and after a quick interlude of emotional hit “If you Could See Me Now taken” from #3, the band returned to their old busking habits setting up a few microphones and a cheap keyboard right in the middle of the tiered seating area. The audience were both delighted and shocked by this quick acoustic set but the band looked perfectly at home. As the band returned to the stage, Danny remained with a portable camera and moved his way through the crowd singing, giving selfies and hugs on his way before returning to the stage to complete the set with the upbeat summer tune “Rain” (another of my favourites) before receiving raptures applause.
The encore was full of lasers and streamers and included hits “Breakeven” and “No Good in Goodbye” before concluding the show with “Hall of Fame”, dedicating it to fans old and new. The Freedom Child Tour can only be described as a celebration of life, love and the Script family.
We will all be counting down the days until the band return to Ormeau Park Belfast on the 24th June.
Scroll through our photo gallery by Bernie McAllister, below: