Material: Humbly announcing their thrill at playing their first sold-out show in the U.S., The Coronas showcased songs from their newest release, Trust The Wire, which landed them a number one spot on the Irish album charts. Straddling the line between mainstream pop/rock and alternative rock, they resonate with both camps, capturing a sizable following. Though their music has been described as visiting darker themes of “disillusionment and disappointment,” one can’t miss the silver lining of a quest for honesty and truth in relationships and the world at large, with the belief that it is within reach. In “Who We Are,” which has hit written all over it, the courage to face and accept one’s role in a relationship is central: I know myself/I try too hard/forgot how this could leave a mark/the pieces fell/they broke apart/Finally see just who we are. There is also an appealing melodic motif running throughout, tying the verses and choruses neatly together. In the more buoyant and upbeat “Real Feel,” a clever device is employed connecting someone on the precipice of true love with the object of that love: I’m ready for a real feel personal/With a real feel person.
Musicianship: O’Reilly’s vocals, with their power and presence, are both inviting and warm. He segues seamlessly into his falsetto, his charming Irish brogue intermittently peeking through. More akin to polished pop harmonies than scrappy rock tones, the band’s collective voices mesh well. Their arrangements vary and identifiable riffs become hooks in their own right.
Performance: Americans have a great affinity for Irish bands, probably due to the popularity and longevity of U2. Relying on strong performance values and straightforward songwriting, The Coronas prevailed at this show by virtue of their sincerity and occasional humor. They exuded confidence and vulnerability, always a seductive mix of qualities. Heavy on the relationship songs, adding a sprinkle of other subject matter will add further dimension to the act; however, their lyrics are easy to grasp and universal enough to resonate with a large audience.
Summary: This band is well on their way to bigger things. Having already traversed a lot of ground in the areas of recording and performing, The Coronas are poised for continued success. Mixing in a couple of other themes will further round out a first-rate act.
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The Players: Danny O’Reilly, lead vocals, guitar, keyboards; Dave McPhillips, guitar, vocals; Conor Egan, drums; Graham Knox, bass; Johnny McSharry, additional keyboards, guitar.