Dermot Kennedy thanks Cork fans for their patience during long-awaited Musgrave Park gig

The Dublin singer says he last played in Cork to 'one or two hundred people' but on Saturday night he had thousands of fans in the rain to see him perform his postponed concert
Dermot Kennedy thanks Cork fans for their patience during long-awaited Musgrave Park gig

Dermot Kennedy playing at Musgrave Park, Cork on Saturday. Pictures: Larry Cummins

Dryrobes may have been the most divisive fashion item to hit our shores when many turned to ‘sea swimming’ during the pandemic, but there was no denying their usefulness on Saturday night in Musgrave Park. As the heavens opened upon a stadium full of Dermot Kennedy’s fans, warm and dry attendees weaved their way around with a smile as their seaside clothing found a new purpose at the sold-out gig.

Unsurprisingly, the audience was a sea of ponchos – punctuated by those who fashioned outerwear from bin liners and one man I spotted proudly wearing a shower cap to keep his head dry – and a staff member at a nearby shop, which does not sell ponchos, confirmed their demand that weekend. “I should just put up a sign at the door that says ‘No ponchos, no naggins’,” he laughed.

Despite the downpour, the crowd was ecstatic to see Kennedy appear on stage – after all, most had waited years for this day. In late 2019, Kennedy’s debut album ‘Without Fear’ spent 28 non–consecutive weeks at number one in the Irish charts. It since sold over one million copies worldwide and he is now a platinum-selling artist in many countries – not bad for a guy who honed his skills busking around Ireland for a decade.

 There were ponchos aplenty in the crowd at Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins
There were ponchos aplenty in the crowd at Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins

His Musgrave Park concert was due to have taken place in 2020 and Kennedy was touched by the audience’s patience, reflecting on the difference between the Dubliner's latest appearance and the previous time he performed in the Rebel County.

“If my memory serves me correctly the last and only time I played Cork was in Cyprus Avenue to one or two hundred people,” he recalled. “Thank you for being here, it’s been a long time coming. This show was postponed twice. Thank you for holding onto your tickets, waiting in the rain, supporting the music. Thank you for being here.” 

Saturday night’s gig was the last Irish date in Kennedy’s current tour and he opens for Shawn Mendes’ USA and Canada tour from Monday. 

Kicking off the gig with ‘Lost’, he easily had the crowd in thrall, pausing occasionally to give context to some songs but you get the impression that isn't needed: his fans in Cork have been following his work for years and their appreciation was evident as he belted some beloved tunes, including ‘Power Over Me’, ‘Better Days’ and ‘Glory’. 

 Dermot Kennedy on stage during his gig in Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins
Dermot Kennedy on stage during his gig in Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins

No doubt a surge of cheers could be heard beyond Ballyphehane as the opening bars of what is probably his best-known song rang out and soon the whole stadium was singing along to ‘Giants’.

Musgrave Park was bathed in light from thousands of smartphones held in the air when Kennedy began to sing ‘Without Fear’. For his closing number ‘Something To Someone’ the crowd moved as one to the music. 

Kennedy is an impressive performer and it is no mean feat for one man to captivate a venue like Musgrave Park, but he did it with grace and humility. “Thanks so much for being patient tonight, for being patient for two years, for sticking with us,” he said, ever grateful for the support of his fans.

 Music fans enjoying Dermot Kennedy at Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins
Music fans enjoying Dermot Kennedy at Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins

Zach Jones and Joshua O'Leary, from Ballyphehane at Musgrave Park.  Picture: Larry Cummins
Zach Jones and Joshua O'Leary, from Ballyphehane at Musgrave Park.  Picture: Larry Cummins

Joshua and Lyndsey O'Leary were among those who prepared for the adverse weather. Picture: Larry Cummins
Joshua and Lyndsey O'Leary were among those who prepared for the adverse weather. Picture: Larry Cummins

Diane O'Neill, Ballyvolane, and Zach and Joanne Jones, Ballyphehane. Picture: Larry Cummins
Diane O'Neill, Ballyvolane, and Zach and Joanne Jones, Ballyphehane. Picture: Larry Cummins

 Sisters Ethna, Geraldine and Julie McCarthy, from Coppeen at Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins
Sisters Ethna, Geraldine and Julie McCarthy, from Coppeen at Musgrave Park. Picture: Larry Cummins

 Music fans including Jackson Knieriem and Naithan Dickinson listening to Dermot Kennedy. Picture: Larry Cummins
Music fans including Jackson Knieriem and Naithan Dickinson listening to Dermot Kennedy. Picture: Larry Cummins

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