Irish singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy seems to be the talk of the musical world right now, and seeing him perform live there is no doubting why – he is a future superstar, and if he hasn’t caught your attention yet, now is the time to get acquainted.
After appearing on Spotify’s ‘New Artists to Love’ playlist, Kennedy has gathered worldwide attention, and deservedly so, raking in an incredible 4,000,000+ monthly listeners. Here at Ticketmaster, the story is much the same with the UK naming him an Artist to Watch in 2019, and in Australia adding him to both our monthly hotlist in January and our weekly Fresh Scoop playlist.
We were privileged to have witnessed the humbling and inspiring talent that is Dermot Kennedy when he recently visited Melbourne.
The lights dim.
An abundance of applause and excitement erupts as he takes to the stage.
A crowd ready to fall victim to a heart-wrenching yet soulful 90-minute set.
There stands Dermot Kennedy, centre-stage, eyes closed.
He takes one deep breath before unleashing the inner Irish marvel that is his voice. The music starts…
It’s safe to say that this intimate gig was only a preview of what’s still to come from Kennedy. All 12 tracks from his recently released self-titled album featured on his setlist, the lyrics roaring from the voices of the fans that stood before him. Kennedy also treated fans to a performance of an upcoming single titled Lost and a gem in the making called Dancing Under Red Skies.
Kennedy burrows deep within his soul to deliver each song with strong emotion and conviction. Throughout the night he paused to share stories behind his tracks, like the good times spent with friends and family that led to memories embedded within All My Friends. A sense of loss and sorrow was present in the sound of For Island Fires and Family – an immensely purposeful and personal song for Kennedy, while wise words were shared before delivering Shelter, where Kennedy outlined the importance of holding onto hope even when everything around may seem to be failing.
As the affair between Kennedy and his fans grew closer to its unfortunate yet inevitable conclusion, it was the final refrain of After Rain that provided the most emotional and stark moment of the evening. Needing very little encouragement from Kennedy, the crowd bellowed out the song’s final line, “You won’t be lonely.” The inspiration and meaning behind Kennedy’s music is relevant, real, and relatable.
Everyone has heard the phrase old soul, but not everyone knows its meaning. You won’t find it in a dictionary, but you will understand it listening to Dermot Kennedy.
The lights dim.
An abundance of applause and excitement erupts as he leaves the stage.
A crowd left feeling heart-wrenched, but ever so inspired.
Words and image by Cam Tegg