Review: Ash – Live @ The Button Factory, Dublin (Nov 25th, 2009)

Nothing like the peak of a revival buzz. You may have noticed Tickets There’s limited activities of late, have been aimed squarely at the world of Ireland’s leading rock n roll act, Ash. Well, tonight we finally got to see the lads in concert after several years of being broke, not being bothered and a general appreciation for laziness. Turns out, we’ve been missing a great live act.

For what little I saw of tonight’s support band (name to be updated), they were tight but fairly bland. Like a poor mans Killers / Ash sound, but no punch. I guess that’s the purpose of a support band, to make the bar sell well and their head-liners the second coming. Always a good excuse for a smoke and refill so excuse us…

Despite being one of the countries leading hard rock acts, there’s a small crowd in the Button Factory this evening. The stage area was only two thirds filled, there’s space at the back and the balcony’s closed for the night, Surely there’s more Ash fans in the country that this? Anyway, good news for those of us there because Ash blast straight into Loose Control from their iconic classic album, 1977 and the extra space is quickly filled by a mosh pit. What an opening song! Guitars, full on vocals, catchy as hell. Just an all round savage classic. One of the must hear tracks ticked of the list straight away. Second song, A Life Less Ordinary fulfills a seven year dream. One of the greatest grunge styled anthems to ever appear on this planet and more than enough to give the ticket its value. Only an hour and a half to go…*Starts leaping!

Meltdown, a deadly performance of Shinning Light and new singles True Love 1980 and Joy Kicks Darkness send the band to new heights of greatness as Tim stops occasionally to express his delight at being back on Irish Soil and plug the new A – Z Series. The new material stands up quite well against the old classics, even as Kung Fu, Oh Yeah, Walking Barefoot, Goldfinger and Jack Names the Planets keep the place electric. It’s amazing to see how young the three lads are in real life. Girl From Mars came out when I was in primary school and these guys still look exactly the same as they did all those years ago. Not to mention the fact that every year that passes sees them get better and better as a group. The night does however have one little flaw, Charlotte is missing. Her backing guitar, harmonies and general stage presence would have been a great asset to the lads tonight but hell, they pull it off all the same. (I’m smoking s rambling will occur ;))

A great version of Girl From Mars and a full on discothèque ball busting breakdown rendition of Return of White Rabbit finish of the main set before the usual hoopin’ and hollerin’ brings Rick, Mark and Tim back for an intro-less Angle Interceptor, delivered with such perfection you could kiss a Gibson. New single Tracers and Number C from the A- Z Series, Arcadia, a song that is without a doubt in the lead of the material released so far, get the firm approval from fans before the band finish the evening with Twilight of Innocents and the amazing, the star studded, the cream of the crop….Burn Baby Burn from the groups 2001 album, Free All Angels.

Great show, great idea to sell signed A – Z Posters for €3 each, great set-list, great crowd, great atmosphere, great gig. Tickets There doesn’t know how to make our point any clearer.

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