Dermot Kennedy – Irving Plaza – 3.1.18

Janelle Kroll and Dermot Kennedy

Irving Plaza – New York, NY – 3.1.18

Photographer: Jess Williams

The start of March marked many things, the beginning of a new month, one day closer to the warmer spring weather, but most importantly it was the first night of Dermot Kennedy’s sold out North American tour. For many international artists, breaking into the American music scene can sometimes be a challenge — but for Dermot Kennedy it came naturally. Once a busker on the streets of his home city, Dublin, Ireland, Kennedy was now bringing his acoustic songs to the stage of Irving Plaza in New York City.

The first act of the night was Janelle Kroll. She took the stage at 8pm sharp and began her brief set. Her sensual electronica influenced songs captivated the crowd. She belted to notes to her songs as she danced around her mic stand, her long red gloves shining in the light. The crowd was feeling Kroll’s music and she was working the crowd up for Dermot Kennedy’s performance. Not before long, Kroll’s set had concluded and it was about time for Kennedy to take the stage.

The venue was packed from front to back, wall to wall and there wasn’t a single space to move. Kennedy was about to bring his hip-hop infused acoustic beats to the stage and us New Yorkers were waiting with baited breath. Finally, the lights went dim and the show was ready to begin. Kennedy and his band took to their places on the stage and began with “An Evening I Will Not Forget”. Looking out into the crowd as he sang the chorus, it was clear that Kennedy was in shock at the turn out for his show. His stage presence remained minimal and poised, yet his humility was shining through as he would often smile and look to his feet. By his third song “All My Friends”, it was evident that Kennedy was overwhelmed with happiness and thankfulness. After multiple attempts to begin the song, Kennedy turned his back to the crowd and looked at his band mates with a smile across his face. It was a truly amazing moment to see such a successful artist in such shock.

Kennedy played a 10 song setlist — lengthy for a man who managed to sell out his entire tour without even so much as a single full length record. The appeal of Dermot Kennedy is catching on and spreading across the nation like wildfire. People are beginning to recognize the pure, raw talent of Kennedy and I urge you to hop on the Dermot Kennedy bus while you have the opportunity to say that you knew him way back when!