Must See Gigs In 2017
Writing this article has been both a dream and a nightmare. You see, I’m now incredibly excited about the quality of live shows we’ve got to look forward to in 2017, but I’m also acutely aware that I’ll never possibly be able to go to all of them. Nonetheless, here are some of the biggest and best acts gracing these shores this coming year.
There are plenty of big-name international acts playing shows in Ireland this year, but few line-ups can compare to the motley crew assembled for Girl Band’s headline show at Vicar Street on Friday 17 February. The raucous Dublin quartet will be joined by fellow native noisemakers Lynched and Rusangano Family for an evening encapsulating some of the most exciting sounds in contemporary Irish music. On top of this, there’ll be DJ sets from Geoff Travis, Aisling O’ Riordan and the mighty James Vincent McMorrow. With such a stellar line-up, and all proceedings going to Pieta House, this is one not to be missed.
Arguably the single biggest name in the business right now, Drake is coming off the back of an incredibly successful year, dominating the airwaves with some of the biggest singles in recent memory. The much hyped Views might have been something of a let down, overly long and lacking in any real innovation, but the Toronto pop star is a draw like no other at the moment. Whatever you might think of some of Drake’s recent work, his discography is packed to the brim with floor-filling singles and he’ll be breaking them all out at the 3Arena on Sunday 19 and Monday 20 February.
Probably the closest thing to a mythical figure still plying his trade in the music business, the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature will bring his unrivalled back-catalogue to the 3Arena on Thursday 11 May. The voice might not hold the same power it once did, but the words certainly do. Having taken more of a crooner direction with recent releases Tempest and Shadows in the Night, Dylan seems to be an unstoppable touring force, still going strong at seventy-five years of age. The living legends are dropping like flies of late, so don’t miss your chance to see this one in the flesh.
Celebrating their 25th year as a group, Take That will bring their ‘Wonderland’ tour to the 3Arena for two dates on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 May. The trio are set to release their eight studio effort Wonderland in March of this year and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Not content with their legacy as the original and best-selling boyband in British music history, the lads have received acclaim for the spectacular stage productions of recent tours. The Wonderland tour is set to push the boundaries of set design and live production even further.
Guns N’ Roses
The stars have aligned for Guns N’ Roses fans recently, the iconic rockers are back in their almost complete original line-up and Axl has even managed to show up to the shows on time without throwing any tantrums. Better yet for Irish fans, G n’ R will be back at Slane Castle on Saturday 27 May, twenty-five years after they first performed there. That performance in 1992 has lived long in the memory for many who were there and the group have received acclaim for their mammoth performances since the reunion, so the stage is set for another memorable show in Meath.
Few acts can claim to have impacted contemporary music in the way that Kraftwerk have. The German trailblazers have profoundly influenced the direction of electronic music and their work has inspired artists across a multitude of genres. Not content with resting on their laurels, the group will bring their 3D show to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre for two dates on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 June. Encompassing visual media, in addition to their seminal music, these live shows have received widespread acclaim across the world.
Another in the long line of iconic acts bringing their work to Ireland this year, Hans Zimmer returns to the 3Arena on Tuesday 13 June following his mind-blowing show in Dublin in 2016. The legendary composer has an unrivalled body of work in both film and television, producing scores for Gladiator, Inception, The Lion King and many more. Joined on-stage by a studio band, a choir and an orchestra, Zimmer puts on a show every bit as epic as the films he has scored. If you missed his show last year, this is a second chance to catch one of the masters at work.
The Official Best Band of All Time Ever (I’m not biased) will finally be returning to Ireland after a long absence of nine years since they performed at Malahide Castle in 2008. The group hardly need an introduction, they’re one of the most critically acclaimed acts, not just in recent memory, but in the history of contemporary music. A Moon Shaped Pool, the group’s ninth studio album, arrived last year to remind us all that few artists can rival Radiohead at the peak of their powers. Unfortunately, tickets for the show are like gold dust, having sold out in mere minutes. So on Tuesday 20 June, if you’re one of the lucky few who managed to snag a ticket, you’ll find me in the front row, openly weeping.
Another big-name act returning to Ireland in 2017 is the current king of pop (whether you like it or not), Justin Bieber. The Canadian superstar will be performing at the RDS on Wednesday 21 June, not long after his two sold-out dates at the 3Arena back in November of last year. The oft-maligned pop star has reclaimed a lot of credibility in the wake of his 2015 album Purpose, spawning a string of radio-dominating hits, and this tour in support of the album shows no signs of slowing down.
A stark contrast to the ultra-sleek modern pop machine of Bieber, Drake et al. Phil Collins is a welcome reminder of the halcyon days when a balding, middle-aged man could rule the pop charts through sheer song-writing ability. Having not appeared in Ireland for nigh on twelve years now, the former Genesis frontman will be bringing his ‘Not Dead Yet’ tour to the Aviva on Sunday 25 June. With a staggering selection of hits to choose from, this unexpected comeback tour should be a treat for fans of Collins, and pop music in general.
Another act returning to Ireland after a lengthy hiatus are American folk maestros Fleet Foxes, who are set to play two dates at the Iveagh Gardens on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 July, having not appeared on these shores since performing in Cork back in 2011. The group released two sumptuous collections of contemporary folk with their eponymous debut in 2008 and Helplessness Blues in 2011, and fans will be hoping that this new tour heralds the impending release of their long-awaited third LP.
Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of their finest hour, the release of The Joshua Tree all the way back in 1987, the iconic Irish act will play a sold-out date at Croke Park on Saturday 22 July. They’ll be performing the seminal album in its entirety for the first time ever and support on the evening will come from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. U2 shows are always a spectacle, particularly on their home turf, and this one is unlikely to be any different.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Originally scheduled to perform two shows at the 3Arena at the tail end of 2016, Anthony Kiedis and company were forced to postpone due to illness. Thankfully, they’ll be back for those 3Arena shows in the Autumn, appearing on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September. The long-running LA natives are touring in support of their eleventh studio album The Getaway, but their rambunctious live show is sure to include all the classics from a career littered with hits.
It’s shaping up to be another cracking year for live music in Ireland and I haven’t even been able to include all of the great acts that are coming to Dublin in 2017. On top of that, there’s still plenty of time for more shows to be announced.