On Thursday 23rd August one of Ireland’s top acts Kodaline were set to hit the stage at Custom House Square, where many have done so before and gave their all to a sold-out crowd of their biggest fans.
Gates opened at 6pm and anticipation was in the air as the crowd were lining up around the corner. Belfast band Brand New Friend hit the stage at 7pm and came out playing “I Was an Astronaut”, the energy they brought to the stage set the night up well, and their lively set was broken up by hilarious anecdotes. They roared through their set and they’ll be walking away with a lot more fans and their “dream come true” as the bands front man Taylor Johnson said walking off stage.
Next to the stage was Lewis Capaldi, a singer-songwriter from Scotland. It was evident the crowd were excited to see and hear him as 8pm came and he walked out to loud cheers and screams. He launched straight into the performance and sang “Fade” off his Bloom EP. Lewis’ voice is something to behold, he rips through songs in a real husky and deep voice, still hitting the high notes maintaining that grasp.
The set continued with hits such as “Lost on You” and “Rush”. He finished the set off strong with his mum’s favourite song “Tough” and then “Bruises” which has now over 72 million streams on Spotify. Lewis returns to Belfast on Thursday 6th December which after last night’s performance, should sell out.
Now it was time for Kodaline, you could tell the crowd were ready. As it hit 9:15pm, the lights went down and “Hold on I’m Comin’” by Sam and Dave rang over Belfast, as Steve, Vinny, Jason and Mark walked out to an erupting crowd. Harmonica and mandolin at the ready the band opened with fan favourites “Love Like This” and “Brand New Day” which has been heard across the nation during Gogglebox.
The next song “Ready” was the first song off their second album Coming Up for Air to be played. Next up was “Brother” which received a big reaction from the audience as everyone was singing along. It had been 3 years since Kodaline last played Belfast as Steve Garrigan stated.
They then played “High Hopes” which the audience sang in unison along to the chorus. At the end of the song the crowd began singing Happy Birthday to Steve, to which he responded “I’m all embarrassed now” and he paid the Belfast crowd the ultimate compliment by saying it was “the best way to spend any birthday”.
What happened next will make it a night to remember for many as Vinny, Jason and Mark walked off stage and Steve began singing “The One” a song wrote for their friends Philip and Fiona Magee for their wedding day. After a few verses Steve invited a couple out onto the stage and they got engaged, the crowd were ecstatic for the happy couple.
The band came back out and finished the song. They returned to their first album In a Perfect World and played “One Day” which was an elevating performance. “Head Held High” was next, the first song to be played off their upcoming third album Politics of Living, a very lively performance with the crowd singing along with the band, all topped off by sparklers going off behind them.
The set went on with songs like “Shed A Tear”, “Raging” and “Love Will Set You Free”. After this the band surprised Steve with a Back to The Future cake for his 30th birthday as he thought they’d forgot about it. This was followed by “Follow Your Fire” another song off Politics of Living. They then walked off stage and returned for the encore which gave the crowd three more songs with the set ending in “All I Want” and Steve finishing with “I want to thank the rest of the band for being legends”.
All in all, it was a cold and wet but momentous night, for a crowd that’ll be waking up with sore throats after singing along to every note. A night to remember for everyone in attendance.