Since opening eight months ago, Swansea Arena has played host to a variety of artists and acts, most recently post-punk heroes Fontaines DC. as they embarked on their UK and Ireland tour to celebrate their latest release ‘Thin Fia‘, which has made the Dublin band one of the leading bands in the genre and cult heroes in the indie and alternative scene. As rain-soaked gig-goers packed the arena on a particularly wet and blustery night in the Welsh city, the stage was set for the Irish five-headed to impress.
Opening with the title track from her previous album “The death of a hero‘, the band very quickly laid the groundwork for a happy and rowdy show. Frontman Grian Chatten charged onto the stage from left to right, waving his arms encouragingly as a sign of engagement for those below, who of course began to obey without question.
After her opening song came ‘sha sha sha’ and ‘television screensboth from the 2019 album ‘Dogrel’, these slightly older tracks helped inspire the slightly sodden crowd, lifted the low spirits and got the crowd into the dance mood very quickly. As the band began digging through their back catalogue, tracks like ‘Checkless Reckless‘ were immediately greeted with cheers at the sound of the first note, and every pause between songs was filled with singing and applause, creating a harmonious but loud-sounding unity between band and audience. Many of the fan-favorites from her latest work were also played, including the thoughtful ‘closeup’ ‘How cold love is’about addiction and how the things that can make you happy can also be so harmful, as well as the seemingly autobiographical ‘Jackie down the linewith the crowd repeating every word as if it were gospel.
As the last notes of the faux-closer’Thoughts televised rang out across the arena, and the band left the stage with nothing but one “Cheers” from Chatten, the crowd waited impatiently for the return, with two of the most popular songs yet to be played. After what many would say the band felt like hours, the band reappeared from the side of the stage and opened their encore with “Big’, before playing the much-anticipated “Boys In The Better Land”who unsurprisingly saw the biggest mosh pit of the night.
Finally the last song,’I love you’, an ode to the country the band came from, was sung almost like a chorus between band and audience, and as the band’s confetti rained down on the audience, Chatten reached for the skies in the song’s final moments. As the song ended, the room went silent for a fleeting moment before erupting in applause before the band thanked the crowd and left the stage for the last time.
As powerful as Fontaines DC’s visit to the Swansea Arena has felt, there should be no doubt that the best is yet to come for this band. So if you haven’t already, you should definitely keep an eye on what these Dublin boys are up to next!