I’ve long been a fan of the Irish band, but I’m also aware that their breed of middle-of-the-road rock/pop isn’t necessarily considered cool in circles trendier than mine.
Sure, they’ve got a definite ‘sound’ which they’ve replicated to great commercial success over the past decade, but should that be something to be embarrassed about?
After hearing thousands of people happily singing in unison to their catalogue of hits last night, arguably the answer is no.
The tour, titled after their latest album Sunsets and Full Moons, is showy, with pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke effects and even confetti cannons which were fired over the audience after the first song Something unreal.
But there were plenty of earnest moments.
Introducing If You Don’t Love Yourself, lead guitarist Mark Sheehan reminded the audience ‘if you can be anything, be kind’, referencing the quote that has become popular since the death of TV presenter Caroline Flack. To cheers from the crowd, he added onto it, saying it was also important to be kind to yourself.
At various other points, lead singer Danny O’Donoghue talked about how he felt the modern world was increasingly ‘fake’ and how music was the ‘only real thing’ left.
Sunsets and Full Moons was written at a difficult time in his life, after his mum had just died, echoing the release of the band’s first album when he had just lost his dad.
Against a backdrop of such deeply personal tragedy, even the hardest critic would struggle to be unmoved by the emotional performance of the album’s resulting tracks like Run Through Walls.
Written, he said, almost as a love song to those friends who would do anything for you, this, and one other track – Never Seen Anything – were performed from the venue’s west balcony seating area.
Although not everyone could have a ringside seat, for those that did, it was almost like an intimate pub gig.
The rest of the night was dedicated to their bread-and-butter crowd pleasers – Rain, Science & Faith, Hall of Fame and The Man Who Can’t Be Move, to name just a few.
They ended a three-song encore with For the First Time, and promised to be back soon.
Next time, I promise to hold my head up high and be proud to be a fan of The Script.