On March 5, 2020, Dermot Kennedy played a sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall.
With approximately 6,000 people in attendance, many wore the mantle of their Irish heritage by draping themselves in the tricolor flag. In fact, the enthusiastic gathering of Kennedy supporters was likely the closest New York City would come to Saint Patrick’s Day parade this season. Just a week later and with a few dates remaining, Kennedy would postpone the North American leg of his Without Fear Tour due to coronavirus precautions.
Earlier this month, however, before major global events began cancellations, it was a still-carefree audience that rose up cheering for the Dublin singer. Dermot Kennedy introed with his song “An Evening I Will Not Forget” and, in fact, the night was especially significant for the songwriter, being his very first gig at Radio City Music Hall. Between songs, Kennedy expressed how emotionally important it was for him to be back in New York City at one of the most renown entertainment venues in the world. It was arresting too for the audience, most of which applauded and remained standing for the duration of the show, with cellphone flashlights waving in the air to signal songs like “For Island Fires and Family” as Dermot serenaded “she’s bringin’ the moon and stars to me / Damn permanent reverie / And even though this life, this love is brief / I’ve got some people who carry me.”
With the outbreak of COVID-19, many artists like Kennedy have had to put off shows. Fortunately for fans, social media has given a measure of continuity with the recent trend of home concerts. If you missed Dermot Kennedy’s appearance in NYC, are a ticketholder for a rescheduled show or simply want to see him perform in a more intimate setting, check out this acoustic set that was streamed on Facebook live this weekend.