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#174 David Gray @ Dublin O2 Arena (December 19th 2009)

David Gray - Dublin O2 Arena December 19th 2009

Support: Regina Spektor

Firstly it was great to see David back at the Point (oh ok the O2 Arena) last night. Secondly it was one of the best concerts I have been to in years. And we lucky people that were there and didn't race off after the encore (never mind those that started leaving after the main set...silly people) were in for a real treat.

He came on at 9 and finished at 10.57 (I'm a geek I know), nothing special there you might say, but David was in great form tonight which made those two hours fly by.  Opening with new song Fugitive could be deemed a brave move but the crowd seemed to know every word and as a result the tone was set for the night. David had a smile on his face and so did the band. The band went straight into The One I Love which kept the tempo going before bringing it down for the soulful Jackdaw.

Mixing the main set with new and old, David played the obvious in Babylon but also the fabulous Everytime from the Sell, Sell, Sell album, as well as new tracks, First Chance and Kathleen. Say Hello, which I always thought was vastly underrated; a completely different take on the Soft Cell track, was a standout song tonight.

The main set closer was Sail Away. Some tracks can suffer from being over played but for me this never gets tired and hearing the Dublin crowd sing every word back was spine tingling. Now I must say that at this stage some people started to leave. I always find it amazing that people do this. It is not the first time, and probably won’t be the last, I mention this but if you go to a gig then what is the point of leaving early? Especially before the encore when quite likely some of your favourite songs will be played. On the plus side it meant that myself and Mrs Rock were able to get even closer to the stage (we were very close anyway).

The three song encore started with This Year’s Love (a song I have mixed feelings about – sometimes I love, sometimes I….get a little bored with) before leading into a quite stunning Nemesis (a track from the new album which is destined to be in the live set for years to come). Last song was the always great Please Forgive Me. David has often talked about wishing he could write other songs like it and I can see why; It is a pretty unique track which always has the crowd clapping along.  With that David said thank you very much and left the stage.

Lots of people left.

The thing is I just knew we would get more…and so we moved right to the front of the stage where there were now gaps. A few minutes later the band came back on stage to huge cheers (from those remaining) for a second encore. An encore unlike anything I have seen from David before. Two cover versions of tracks, the type of which, you wouldn’t necessarily associate with him at all. A quite brilliant Atlantic City where David reached a growling vocal height possibly not heard since his early days. The house loved it and I could only think this was sung in preparation for the New Year’s Eve gig he is to play in that very place. Next up we had Won’t Get Fooled Again…David Gray singing The Who no less. David went into full Roger Daltrey mode with microphone swing and everything. Brilliant.

Christmas gigs are usually played in great spirits. Both artist and audience are normally in good form which makes for a great atmosphere. Tonight was great. In fact tonight was a wonderful, wonderful gig.

You may not like David Gray. Many don’t. Many find him bland. To me that is just lazy, as in reality he is a gifted singer songwriter who deserves respect. Tonight he was exceptional.

Ticket: December 19th 2009

Ticket Price: €39.20

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