A homecoming at Vicar Street. The venue has become a cultural nexus, where Art Garfunkel, Brian Wilson and The Flaming Lips are equally at home. It was new to The Dublinerís, who have played in just about every concert hall the breadth of Europe, "We last played Dublin fortieth anniversary at the Gaiety in 2002," says John. "But this room offered a real intimacy." In the queues before the sell out concert, apprehension was high as the age bracket of new fans was low the number of young faces in the crowd surprised everyone, "It's liberating," says' Barney. "It says that music is a family celebration,
There should be no boundaries."
The unity was in the voice of the audience: a roar that stirred when Jim came on to announce them,
ascending to deafening sing along by ,the time Whiskey In The Jar' was rollicking. One song after
another; one hit after another; a poem from John, banter from Sean and Barney, a soft shoe from Eamonn, a tug at the heartstrings from Patsy: the cumulative effect was overpowering, building to the kind of crescendo I've only experienced at a world heavyweight boxing showdown, By the end, the searing heat of the July night, electrified by the tirelessness of the band, had the audience on its knees. And then the floor pounding demands for the encores began. They played on, well beyond closing time, John's fiddle never so sweet, Barney's voice never so emotive, Sean and Eamonn and Patsy raising the rafters.
There were smiles and whoops and hugs from the audience, This had been an extrordinary homecoming, an indisputable musical feast.