First Aid Kit wow fans in Vicar Street

By Saoirse Ivory

First Aid Kit in Vicar Street. Photo by Saoirse Ivory.

Saoirse Ivory reviews Swedish band First Aid Kit in Vicar Street. 

Long before the likes of Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men made folk the genre of choice for hip music lovers, Klara and Johanna Soderberg of First Aid Kit were perfecting their harmonies in the woods of southern Sweden.

They made a triumphant return to Dublin on Sunday, finally in a venue that does them justice. Through torrential rain and blustering winds their devoted fans crowded into the spacious environs of Vicar Street, and as the lights dimmed an atmosphere of reverence settled the crowd into near silence.

With opener ‘In the Morning’ their flawless ethereal harmonies, along with the blue haze of the lights and forested stage backdrop, transports the audience to faraway lands of moss and towering evergreens.

Later they are met with jubilant whoops as they dedicate an up-tempo rendition of ‘Our Own Pretty Ways’ to Pussy Riot, allowing their country influences to shine through forthright.

Fans grin knowingly to each other when the girls step out from behind their microphones and announce they will “abandon modern technology” for the next song, and encourage the audience to sing with them. The usually enchanting and emotive ritual of their live shows turns comical when an over eager crowd-member begins prematurely belting out the lyrics to the next line and elicits fits of hysterics both on and off stage.

The raw power of the vocals in ‘To a Poet’ stun the audience back into silence, before the joyful chorus of Emmylou begets another sing-along.  Dangerous amounts of hair-swinging accompany ‘The Lion’s Roar’ and the band takes a quick breather off-stage (presumably to put their heads between their legs) before bounding back to perform one of their best loved covers, Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘America’.

They close the show with ‘King of the World’, reintroducing support act Idiot Wind to sing on the last verse. The performance is an expression of true joy and a happy buzz descends over the room after the band bow off the stage for the final time.

The night was a perfect demonstration of First Aid Kit’s ability to connect with their fans like no other, and left everyone who attended with potentially permanent goosebumps.

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