US anthems at Donnybrook Stadium

By Paul Carton

Pardon me for plagiarising, but I need to use a line from a song by the headliners at Energia Park’s festival “And I cannot explain it, Oh, any other, any other way” before I go on to review last weekend’s music event at the stadium. A line-up of some of the best showmen in music today put in performances that both mesmerized and thrilled the crowd, albeit to a number much below capacity. For some of the acts like John Grant and Mercury Rev who got the early evening shift it seemed at times slightly embarrassing for them due to the low number in attendance. But that didn’t have any effect on what they gave on the day. Mercury Rev did not disappoint either by giving a flawless set which ended in a guitar clanging sign off that sent massaging vibrations to those that turned up for them. On their separate nights, headliners The National and Future Islands arrival doubled attendance. Matt Berninger from the National gave his audience a most interactive performance. Strapped with a microphone cable half the length of the stadium, Matt made his way up to the stands to embrace his fans and on through the standing area back to the stage all the time being followed by a huge swarm of his then star-struck fans. Sunday’s headliner Future Islands were no less entertaining. Known for his theatrics and just plain-crazy moves, lead singer Sam Herring channelled his wild energy into the crowd giving four encores, to possibly give the crowd some value for what they paid.