WATCH: Kodaline set the bar high with Live at the Marquee opening night spectacular

“Walking on Cars, Picture This and Kodaline, they’re all the same, aren't they?” was a phrase I was met with on a few occasions prior to tonight’s gig.

And although to me, each band is distinctive in their own right, I could see where they were coming from.

Each guitar-lead Irish indie band come with a database full of romantic, nostalgic and relatable original music, not forgetting their army of dedicated fans.

Not bad for this small country of ours, but after selling out Dublin’s Olympia theatre before their first album was released, I was determined to find out what it was in particular that makes Kodaline stick out from the rest.

First up, their choice of support act - Stephanie Rainey.

In the history of Live at the Marquee, she now holds the title as the first Corkonians to open the Cork festival.

And what a Cork welcome she received. A welcome fit for Liam McCarthy’s arrival back to the rebel county.

The singer/songwriter is rapidly climbing up the ranks in the world of Irish music with hits such as ‘Please Don’t Go’ and ‘100 Like Me’.

Amid the glorious sunshine and their love for Rainy, fans are itching for the boys to take to the stage, maybe because only a mere five hours ago the band took to social media to announce the name and release date of their newest album?

The Politics of Living will be in our hands, August 10.

As they casually took to the stage, like they’re about to begin soundcheck, the place erupts with that familiar high pitched scream more commonly known as ‘the fangirl’

“Cooorrrrkkkkkk,” they announce before launching into some of their biggest hits; Love Like This, Brand New Day and Ready.

For those of you unfamiliar with the group, it’s made up of Mark Prendergast and Jason Boland on vocals/guitar, Jason Boland on percussion and Steve Garrigan primarily on lead guitar, vocals and keyboard.

As the spotlight comes up, they slow things down a bit, and Garrigan is seen solo at his keyboard.

After a small chat with the audience, he sings their hit Brother and all of a sudden it feels like an intimate gig.

Switching from keyboards to acoustic guitar, he lets the crowd take the lead.

Word for word they sing each song back to him while he simply accompanies them and takes in the moment. Each of the concert-goers in the palm of his hand.

With the addition of two backup dancers, they pump up the tempo a bit with hit such as their Kygo hit, Raging, new song, Shed A Tear and their most recent hit, Follow Your Fire.

Kodaline performing on stage at the first night of the 2018 Live At The Marquee Cork. Pic Darragh Kane

Encore? Of course.

An encore I don’t think anyone was expecting, a very the High King-esque acapella piece sang by all four. Garrigan then took his Harmonica and launched into Dirty Old Town.

From classics, bops to indie, they make it all seem effortless and I’m pretty sure after this new album, no one will ever get them confused again.

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