SO FAMOUS he no longer has to engage in a bit of profile-raising as a Saturday night judge on The Voice, Danny O’Donoghue – face and voice of Dublin-formed bantamweight rock outfit The Script – has taken to arena level stardom with a flourish.
In terms of its production values, this was a show which met and exceeded every expectation, and such success was in large part down to O’Donoghue’s committed performance.
Sitting down later in the set at a piano sited on a raised cylindrical dais at the back of the hall with two fellow band members (the trio were bolstered by two extra members for the full electric tracks), he eulogised about the power of the song when you strip away all the fancy accoutrements like the lighting rig and the huge oblong screens which backed the expansive stage set. It was the right moment to muse on such things, because their biggest hit yet, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, was on its way, delivered in delicate acoustic fashion.
Yet for all that his sheer ability and force of personality has brought the band to this level, booking two nights in succession at a venue like the Hydro, the songs didn’t always convince. They dished out Arcade Fire-aping hammering drums and power chords on It’s Not Right For You, O’Donoghue’s best blue collar Springsteenisms on The Energy Never Dies and U2 guitars alongside a Jean-Michel Jarre lightshow on No Good in Goodbye, but the stretch beyond sloganeering cliché to honest lyrical identification, as on For the First Time’s intimation of emotional collapse as a love affair dies, was all too infrequent.
Seen on 19.02.14