The Presidents Of The USA at Vicar Street – March 17th 2012
Review: Aidan Cuffe
Photos: Alan Moore
It’s St. Patrick’s Day and the city of Dublin is a different proposition to its usual self. The centre of town is covered in decorations as the colours of the flag adorn every street corner. This reviewer has spent his day having a very Irish Paddy’s day in the Guinness Storehouse where we were treated to trad sessions, perfect pints and a terrible rugby performance.
The lights filter off, a voice-over introduces the main act, saying the worlds greatest band ever had been booked for tonight … The Wombles, but unfortunately they are double booked playing in a Taiwanese prison for Gary Glitter and 120 young friends. Jokes aside the Presidents arrive on stage without missing a trick, dressed in green, white and orange and forming a human Irish flag front of stage.Having such a feel good day, it was only part of the tangled web of fun my day would become and the next step was a stop in Vicar Street to see The Presidents of the USA who were finishing their tour in Dublin on St. Patricks Day. A plan well laid. I arrived early to catch BOUTS. A double A side single is my introduction to these guys and it’s quite clear, that live they are a more dynamic proposition. Bouncing around the stage and showing no signs of big stage nerves, they won over the growing crowd with their high-pitched vocals and dirty rocking riffs, it’s a doughnut with some indie rock goodness in the centre, a tasty proposition. We are looking forward to a full release from these guys because we see a bucket load of potential.
They kicked it off hard and fast bouncing around from the second to latest album, rattling off Love Everybody, Volcano and Some Postman in the opening salvo’s. The crowd jumping in unison as they rattle off their début album from start to finish in track listing order. Kitty got the crowd bouncing like a bungie, while Lump was sung back word for word, Boll Weevil is thundered home followed by favourite Peaches. After Dune Buggy we are joined by their T-shirt models bringing a pint of Guinness to the lads, whom down them in, one as the crowds chant “Chug Chug Chug”. From the cries for more cowbell in We’re Not Going To Make It to guitars thrown across stage catch by Andrew and Chris with the big strum finish for Kick Out The Jams, to the venue lights all being switched off and phones and lighters providing the ambience for Candy, the run through their début album provided stunning entertainment. Mach 5 and a cracking rendition with a lovely sing and response from the crowd of Video Killed The Radio Star rounded off our set, as the human Irish flag assembled front of stage to sign off to the adoring crowd.
They returned in a heartbeat with a pint in hand, to chug it out with the crowd before attempting to embarrass Aiken’s own Caroline Duke, whom they described as a super-fan and had requested Froggy. The band put in a rocking performance of it for their biggest fan. More Bad Times follows but is stopped before the end as Chris explains to us that the relationship in that song was doomed as he was a small garden gnome and she was a leggy supermodel. This led into Supermodel before returning to the last bars of More Bad Times. Our rock and roll love in was rounded off by Chris, hanging the mic stand over his back and playing Tiki God whilst also wearing a bra which appeared on stage, they had a reprise of Kick Of The Jams whilst doing a “Can Can” of types at the front of the stage and finalised a breathtaking show with TV Eye.
I have been to three Presidents gigs in Ireland, none have had the power, energy and enjoyment factor of this gig. The crowd was up for it with the day that was in it. The band seemed energised by the party atmosphere and it being the end of their tour. The showmanship and crowd interaction are something all bands should take note of. As are the humble end of show handshakes at the barrier from Andrew, to front-man Chris signing all merchandise and posing for pictures after the gig. A testament to a band who have built a loyal fan base on being damn entertaining and humble as pie. They will be back in 2013 with a new album. If it’s as good as their current back catalogue this show can only get better. Unmissable.
Ghosts Are Everywhere
We Are Not Going to Make It
Kick Out the Jams
Naked and Famous
Video killed the radio star
More Bad Times (unfinished)
More Bad Times (finished)
Kick Out The Jams Reprise