Fontaines DC at La Prima Estate: rock poetry without mannerisms

Fontaines DC at La Prima Estate: rock poetry without mannerisms

Always the larger the audiencewith 7,500 attendees: a number, the one attracted by the festival The First Summer at the BussolaDomani park in Lido di Camaiorewhich decreed their most attended live in Italy. The sound is getting bigger and bigger: more massive and powerful, too thanks to the inclusion of a multi-instrumentalist, Chilli Jessonwhich brings the lineup to six elements. The same band is getting bigger and bigger: every time that the Fontaines DC pass through our country, there is a real perception that they are continually growing and evolving. More cohesive, powerful, with a more varied and exciting lineup. It is certainly no coincidence that these Irish boys, who grew up together and initially united by their love for poetry, today they are considered one of the best rock bands in the world.

On stage it starts to light up intermittently the huge writing, suspended in the air, “Fontaines DC”. The letters, piece by piece, will change color depending on the spirit of the song. The group, which in recent times has veered towards a more electric and refined aesthetic, it seems spit out of a broken and dystopian, but at the same time glamorous, world: the schizophrenic frontman Grian Chattenfor example, has a trouser skirt, a military t-shirt, combat boots and a pair of fluorescent green glasses, guitarist Carlos O’Connellpink hair and green Irish polo shirt, takes a seat next to the bassist Conor Deegan, winter hat with big ears, vintage Adidas t-shirt, lug sole boots. The setlist immediately offers something new “Romance”, in which the mantra “maybe romance is a place” melts hearts. It’s a beautiful piece taken from the new album of the same name, which will be released on August 23rd.

“Jackie Down the Line,” with Conor Curley’s acoustic guitar soaringis the gateway to one of the emotional worlds told by the Fontaines, the most suspended and dreamlike, immediately overturned by menacing sound of “Televised Mind” in which Tom Coll’s drums start pounding: the lights on stage seem like those of a crazy alarm, Chatten sings how the society of the spectacle can transform “ideals in cabaret”, gets on an amplifier and looks at the enthralled audience. Three of the most beautiful songs written by the group follow in succession: “Roman Holiday”, “Big Shot”with a fuller arrangement than the studio version, and “I Don’t Belong”. There are three pieces on choices, possibilities, freedom, recurring themes in the imagination of these Irish bards. In that “I don’t belong to anyone”sung with eyes closed and placed on a sound and guitar carpet that digs deep, there is the essence of the Fontaines. It’s a sound that, now out of the post-punk cageis increasingly recognisable. Applause for the director and to the always timely images that scroll on the side screens.

Zero mannerisms of a rock band that wants to demonstrate who knows what, zero pieces lengthened by onanistic instrumental queues: frank and direct rock poetry, with the songs that are fired one after the other in rapid succession, giving a swing of mood to the audience. “Skinty Fia” it is a river of words in which the themes of love and Irish identity, the focus of their third album released in 2022, overlap. “Chequeless Reckless” brings back the dirty sound of the beginning“A Hero’s Death”, a song released in 2020 with the album of the same name, contains some of those choruses that later became one of the group’s trademarks. “Big” hammers, “How cold love is” tightens the heart, “A Lucid Dream” is a storm of sounds to which each component offers its contribution. Chatten spins aroundtwists his shirt, it’s hypnotic, Carlos O’Connell looks skyward as if playing guitar for a higher being.

Before “Too real”the concert comes to a halt due to a problem with a guitar, the group leaves, regroups and returns for a final part of the live show full of energetic and lively pieces including “Sha Sha Sha”, “Favourite”, also from the upcoming new album, “Boys in the Better Land”. A special mention must be made for “Nabokov”Chatten’s strangled scream “I did you a favour” is spine-chilling, and for “Starburster”, the launch single of the “Romance” project, which makes you jump and mosh live as perhaps no one expected after the first listens. The concert ends with “I Love You” without complacency or gibberish to ingratiate the fans: Chatten slams the microphone stand on the stage several timesreleases tension and transmits energy, then goes out together with the whole group while a shower of thunderous applause dominates a brief greeting.

Some final considerations. Fontaines DC, together with Idles, they are “the” rock band to see right now. The other groups that warmed up the festival: the Wu-Lu not up to par, the Shame adrenaline-filled and fun, the Kasabians unexpectedly excellent, with a histrionic Sergio Pizzorno, to create the right atmosphere before the Fontaines. And in all of this The First Estate is growing, year after year, more and moreimproving in organization, taking the space it deserves on the national scene among the hottest events, an event to be experienced as a real festival. You don’t need a four-leaf clover to wish yourself luck, that’s enough a magical Irish shamrock.

Jackie Down the Line
Televised Mind
Roman Holiday
Big Shot
I Don’t Belong
Skinty Fia
Checkless Reckless
A Hero’s Death
How cold love is
A Lucid Dream
Too Real
Sha Sha Sha
Boys in the Better Land
I Love You