Review – Therapy? – Whelans, Dublin – 25-04-2017. Wood & Wire Tour.
When you are a fan of a band and they announce an acoustic show in a small venue there really is very little option but to go to the show, but there is always a couple of things running around the back of your head, rarely to do with the band, usually things like “What’s the setup going to be like?”, “Will this one be all seated?”, that kind of stuff. Having seen Andy performing a solo acoustic show in the same venue a few years back, where there was a seated setup many were hoping for a standing setup this time, not that it detracted from the show, but often in a smaller venue tables/chairs just don’t work too well, depending on the show of course. Anyway, happily tonight was going to be a standing affair, and what a blinding gig it was.
The reality is that most rock songs get written with a guitar and a vocal, so stripping it back down to the basic sound can give the audience a very different rendition of a song they love, and quite often hearing something played this way stays with you. With regards to Therapy? Some of the darker songs are even more haunting when played acoustically, and it’s got a dark beauty to it that just twists at your insides, “Gone” for example is majestic tonight.
There’s no support tonight and the band are playing two separate sets, which gives the guys, and Andy in particular, plenty of time for some stories about when the songs were written, what they were about and the state that he was in when they recorded them, and oddly enough even if you have heard some of these stories before they are still very funny. The interaction between Andy and Michael ‘The Evil Priest’ McKeegan is as always pretty much telepathic, and they are still really enjoying it. The sets themselves are really well put together, a mix from most of the bands albums, including 3 from the most recent album and “Still Hurts” was definitely another one of the night’s highlights, and it’s a very different beast in the acoustic arrangement, sounds crazy but even without the staccato riffs the song became more powerful. The favourites were almost all in there too, would have loved to hear “Isolation” along with the others, but it’s so hard to quibble with a setlist including “Trigger Inside”, “Nowhere”, “Loose”, “Potato Junkie” ( to this day hearing a crowd singing the lyrics puts a massive smile on my face’), “Stories”, ”Knives”, “Screamager” the list goes on and on, and of course still one of my favourite covers of all time “Diane” (Hüsker Dü) which was another of the many highlights.
What perhaps made this show different to pretty much any acoustic show I’ve seen before is the drumming had a perfect amount of venom, it wasn’t just a background noise, Neil Cooper (Drums) was the special ingredient that brought it from being a great show to being one you really were happy to have been there. Another rarity is for the crowd to be as loud as they were at such a show and for it not to be annoying, a lot at the front, including me were singing their heads off, which added nicely to the atmosphere (apologies to anyone beside me that managed to hear my dulcet tones), along with singing out loud it was obvious that those present knew the songs inside out, which was also greatly appreciated by the band themselves. Andy said it all at the end of the show admitting it had been one of his favourite nights in Dublin.
The reality is that everyone needs some Therapy? Every now and again, and tonight Dublin got treated to some of the best form of therapy known to man, a great night of music. Whatever format their next show in Dublin is, get along to it, the band are on top form, and very much still relevant in these turbulent times.
5 out of 5
Our Love Must Die
Living In The Shadow
If It Kills Me
Lonely Cryin’ Only
Moment Of Clarity
Stop It You’re Killing Me