GIG REVIEW: RTÉ 2FM’s Rising at Dolan’s Warehouse

Ireland’s music scene is alight with a range of performers with feet in every genre under the sun. That variety was on full display at RTÉ’s 2FM Rising in Dolan’s Warehouse on Wednesday night. The intimate gig showcased three very different acts from RTÉ 2FM’s Rising Irish music to watch 2019. Acts ROE, Tebi Rex, and Happyalone. all took the stage at Limerick’s premier music venue.

First to the stage was ROE, a multi-instrumentalist from Derry, who’s quiet, meek persona is replaced by a powerful synth driven pop star when she sings. Her impressive mastery of a multitude of instruments was on clear display as she made her way through her set. Her voice is an almost perfect clone of the alternative pop stars that litter the top 40 such as Halsey, Melanie Martinez and even Billie Eilish. The latter’s influence is also all over a set highlight, ‘A Quiet Place’, a dark, pounding moment, which ROE admits is ‘scary’ for her to perform due to its newness. ROE’s nerves are clear throughout the set in the moments between each song when she retreats into herself but is still full of charisma even if it’s not the persona of a pop star quite yet. Her music is at moments a tad too homogeneous, yet her pure talent, and her personal attachment to each moment of her set draws you in so close, it feels like it’s just you and her.

Tebi Rex followed ROE, bringing a much different sound and much different energy with them. The alternative hip-hop duo prove that Irish acts can truly hold their own in genres outside the typical singer-songwriter where Irish acts have found great success, which is particularly exciting as hip-hop and traps dominance across the music industry only grows with each passing year. The pair have an unrelenting energy and care free hype that is undeniably infectious. Their energy does at moments borderline on unprofessional, but it only works to build on their already incredible appeal. Their music is fabulously diverse, ranging from high adrenaline trap to more personal tracks, such as ‘Lotus Eaters’, which is a gorgeous high point that truly shows off their talents both vocally and lyrically. The charisma, chemistry and pure talent the pair bring to the stage is incredible, blowing the roof off the intimacy of the venue, and leaving the impression of an artist more than ready for their big break.

Cork based Happyalone. were the final act to grace the stage at the gig, again displaying another facet of Irish talent. From the beginning to the end of their set, Happyalone. were a wall of sound. It’s unrelenting, at moments a bit too much so, but is wonderfully atmospheric. From their visuals to their onstage personas, the band is very much the stereotype of a ‘rockstar’, with an almost too cool to care aura and a slight twinge of god complex, which both works for and against them. In the moments between songs, there is little to no words uttered to the crowd, never really offering an invitation into a world they seem so invested in building, which makes it harder to understand what they’re trying to do musically. A few crowd interaction moments would go a long way in building a fan base for the group. However, when they are in the swing of the song, that ‘rockstar’ edge makes their talent undeniable, particularly lead singer Fionn Tobin, whose voice is particularly impressive in the brief moments you can truly hear him sing. The music itself is admittedly enjoyable, and incredibly varied, dancing between synth, trap, rock and almost everywhere in between. Despite their sometimes disappointing attitude, Happyalone. are clearly vastly talented and in the moments where everything comes together, you can see the shine of the stars underneath.

To check out music from ROE, click here.

To check out music from Tebi Rex, click here.

To check out music from Happyalone., click here.

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