Concerto for Constantine returned to Whelan’s for their third appearance in the venue on Tuesday night. Previous shows included the middle band slot on the November 2007 2FM 2MORO 2OUR which introduced them to the country followed by a guest appearance at the recent School of Rock showcase for younger up and coming bands from around the country. Their third appearance marked their biggest headlining show to date. After support slots for ‘The Smashing Pumpkins, The Futureheads’ and ‘The Enemy’ along with a handful of successful shows around the country, Concerto have sharpened their sound, songs and stage presence to perfection and on Tuesday night they showed a packed crowd in Whelan’s what their years of experience and hard work have produced.
Dublin based Funk/Rock group ‘Leopold’ opened the night. Playing a truly impressive set that brought to mind ‘Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine’ and ‘The Red Hot Chili Peppers’. Leopold have grown steadily in their two and a half years together and even managed to land support slots for late soul legend ‘James Brown’ and Irish rockers ‘Thin Lizzy’. Although it took a few songs for guitarist Stephen McHale and singer Richie Glynn to get comfortable on the stage, this didn’t manage to affect their performance. Songs such as ‘Loser, Lonely World’ and debut single ‘Subliminal Hit’ show great prospects for their forthcoming EP. Along with acts such as ‘Waiting to Explode’ and ‘Simon and the Ghost’ Leopold are adding a nice dose of Funk back into the Irish rock scene.
As the lights dimmed around 9.30, a very excited wave swept over the crowd. With Whelan’s in darkness, Concerto’s intro track came onto the PA and Strobe lights lit up from the back of the stage. Mark, Gavin and Binzer appeared to a rapturous cheer from their new fan base as forthcoming single ‘Minsk’ opened the show. The fact that Concerto have yet to release any material doesn’t seem to matter one bit to their fans collected in Whelan’s tonight. As the band tore their way through ‘WASP’S, Cats Cradle, Stand In My Way, Falling’ and future single ‘Silver’ the crowd followed every second.
Mark’s shredding vocals are a far cry from his days with ‘JJ72’ and show a new maturity and depth lacking on his previous outputs.
The show was not only a means to give fans a chance to hear Concerto live but it also served as way for Concerto to debut a lot of their unheard material in their own surroundings. This was shown even more when Mark commented his indecisiveness about one of the newer tracks. Mark and Gavin’s usual onstage banter also helped make the crowd more relaxed and the night more enjoyable as y worked their way through the remainder of the set.
After just under an hour and a half, Concerto announced their last song. Black confetti stared to fall from the ceiling as the stage lights went darker and the band played ‘Death in Lisbon’, a haunting instrumental track to round the night off. With the confetti still falling in front of the stage covering everyone in the first six rows, Concerto returned to play an encore of ‘Minsk’, “One for the road” as Mark put it.
Fans may have to wait another while before the band can release a single or an EP and Tuesdays show will only feed that hunger for a release but it’s a great sign of things to come from C4C.