By MARCIA ZIMMERMAN For The News-Letter
Irish rock quartet Kodaline best known for their mainstream radio hit “All I Want” played an intimate Sunday night show at Baltimore Soundstage.
“All I Want,” the hit single off their 2013 debut album In A Perfect World, was licensed by Grey’s Anatomy and then appeared in the soundtrack of the blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars. Largely popular in Europe, the Dublin-based band released their sophomore album Coming Up For Air in February.
Surrounded by a diverse crowd of about 150 people under simple blue and red lighting, the band started with “Ready,” an upbeat song of their new album with strong guitar riffs and a pulsing drum beat. The band fed off the energy of the crowd and came off as real and intense.
Other highlights from their set included “The One” and “Coming Alive,” a happy song to which the audience gleefully clapped along. When they played the latter, Kodaline asked people to get their phones out, wave the flashes like lighters and put their arms around their loved ones.
The song was written for a friend of the band’s who was getting married since they had forgotten to get him a gift beforehand.
“Like an idiot, I left writing it until the night before,” lead singer Steve Garrigan wrote on the band’s website. “Singing it the next day was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, much more nerve-wracking than standing in front a festival crowd. We all had a few beers before we played it, to ease the tension, obviously.”
Although fans were definitely into the show, a lot of their songs were slower, which dulled the mood in the room. Swaying to one ballad was nice, but swaying to more than three in a row got old. Things picked up again towards the end of the set and during their encore. The band ended with their most popular songs “Honest” and “All I Want,” which left the audience engaged through the end.
“I hadn’t really heard of Kodaline before I saw their concert. But after seeing them, I fell in love,” freshman Laura Chicos said. “Their live show was magical — the beautiful piano riffs, the warm vibe of the venue and the cool aesthetic of the band.”
Opening act Good Old War also impressed the crowd with smooth harmonies. Each band member looked like he was having the time of his life. Lead singer Keith Goodwin danced like no one was watching, helping to bring up the crowd’s energy level significantly. Their sound was chill with just a hint of angst.