Posted on by Oran

Canadian Powerhouse trio, Danko Jones make a long awaited return to Irish shores promoting this years release ‘Fire Music’. The last time the guys performed in Dublin, was back in 2010 as support to Guns ‘N’ Roses in the then O2 Arena, on a night that they ended up playing a full headline set of their own, due to Axl Rose’s ‘rock-star antics’. But tonight, the headline slot is truly all theirs, as they kick off the Ireland & UK Tour in Whelan’s.


Support tonight comes from another powerful trio. Scotland’s finest, The Amorettes, will be familiar to anyone that managed to catch them opening the show for Black Star Riders and Europe   back in March of this year and it’s great to have them back in Dublin. These girls really know how to rock and give 100% from the get go. Tonight’s set is naturally going to be made up of tracks from their excellent second album, Game On, which was released in March of this year via Off Yer Rocker Records. Consisting of Gill Montgomery (Guitar/Vocals), Heather McKay (Bass/Backing Vocals) and sister Hannah McKay (Drums/Backing Vocals), this band are always great to watch, as they clearly enjoy what they do and do it very well indeed! Playing a very pure form of rock ‘n’ roll, there is plenty of guts in their tunes which sound just as powerful and hard hitting tonight as they did when they ripped the Olympia theater a new one back in March (see review of that show here).


From the opening notes of Give Em’ Hell, the girls really get the venue rocking as Gill and Heather take care of the front of the stage with flying riffs and flying hair being the fashion of the day, while Hannah controls everything from the drum kit. The Amorettes are a seriously tight band and there’s no doubt they are impressing people in the crowd that haven’t seen them before. Heads are nodding along to their thunder and when Gill requests more voices from the growing audience there is no problem in the ‘audience participation’ department. The Amorettes don’t fuck around and give a blistering performance of hard rock, as it is meant to be live!

How a band reacts to blips or problems during a set always says a lot about their character and these girls just adjust, adapt and rock on, with a smile on their face and involve the audience with some good interaction. When Gill introduces Heartbreaker, while forgetting to change her guitar, it’s not an awkward silence, it’s a whimsical moment with a very professional band going about their business. Their touring experience is clear for all to see, they have their sound down and work so well together as a band. The set closer Hot And Heavy, gives them the opportunity again to involve the crowd in helping with the chorus and as this set has proceeded the room has filled out and the participation gotten even louder than before. The Amorettes are definitely a band on the up, go and see them in a small venue while you still can, as it’s great to be up close with the action. Can’t wait to hear their next album and see them live again soon.



Give Em’ Hell

Get What’s Coming

Bull By The Horns

Too Much Is Never Enough


Shoot From The Hip

Hot And Heavy


Performance ration 4/5

For more information on The Amorettes, click on this link.


Sometimes the capacity at a show is irrelevant to the performance. It honestly doesn’t matter if there are ten or ten thousand people in the crowd, the band are really up for it and once they have someone with them they are going to tear the venue apart and that’s how we proceed. Danko Jones are on a mission to level Whelan’s main room and they aren’t going to be stopped. The venue is really buzzing now and when you have a front-man like Danko, waxing lyrical as often as he can on all manner of subjects, the atmosphere is palpable. The sheer energy in the room has lifted a few notches and even though it’s not a sold out show, even that fact gets worked into the proceedings and the band uses it as a bargaining too,l to get them back over here as soon as possible.

Without looking at the contents of the set-list taped to the floor of the stage, it was obvious that the plan was one of full force. Danko Jones have always been a difficult band to categorize, as there is a mixed bag of various influences submerged in their sound. Classic rock influences come tightly wrapped with punky infectious anthems all served with and absolute balls out rock ‘n’ roll delivery.  To be honest that’s really what it’s all about right? Danko Jones write killer songs, that make you feel good about the world and help forget about all the bullshit for a short while. Just witnessing the band members and fans in unison, celebrating the majestic glory of hard rock, brings a smile to my face.


There is no question that Danko is a chatty front man, with a great sense of humor to boot, but that’s how he rolls. His memories of that infamous Gun’s ‘N’ Roses show in Dublin, to which he commented as “that one time we performed a three and a half hour headline set in the O2 Arena (3 Arena), last time we were in town” caused many a laugh throughout the venue. His humorous jab at Gun’s n’ Roses, highlights just what a down to earth guy Danko is and above all, his captivating abilities as a front-man.

The songs on offer tonight are a mix of a greatest hits, along with half of the latest release, Fire Music. From the first song of the night everything flows really well, this really is one of those sets that shows the band at it’s best and nobody there would care if it was aired once a week, sometimes you can nearly forget just how good a band is if you haven’t seen them for a few years, this show smacked me right in the face early on as a reminder as just how fantastic Danko Jones are.

Along with classics like Forget My Name, First Date and a ripping version of Had Enough, we are treated to a really cool cover of Misfits Die, Die My Darling and it’s not all delivered at one hundred miles an hour either! Danko Jones are performing on all cylinders tonight as their set is loud and aggressive enough to grab every punters attention and hold on to them for the duration of the performance. Their styles weave between punk, classic rock and hard rock and are summoned with heavy punchy riffs by the truck load!

We were always going to get a Thin Lizzy cover in the set and sure enough Are You Ready makes an appearance for the first time in thirteen years in a Danko Jones set, which was amazing! This is followed by a first, Dublin gets the first ever live outing of Body Bags taken from Fire Music and it does not disappoint! The high quality of musicianship and visceral dedication of tonight’s show, just doesn’t waver for a minute as the second half of the set being even better than what preceded it!

Hard as it is to believe, but with with out and out tracks like Gonna Be A Fight Tonight and Code Of The Road (which I think the crowd could have sang on it’s own), there’s just a tonne of joy on peoples faces here. The venue is hot and sweaty and there really was no better way the band have kicked off their European tour than here, tonight! We can only hope Danko Jones stick to their promise and do come back soon, because you don’t always get the chance to go out to a gig and be certain it’s going to just melt your face before you even get there, well seeing these guys gives you that, one hundred and ten percent effort at all times and as the man himself pointed out a huge back catalog to choose from and the ability to switch seamlessly between some different styles of rock music, with all three band members playing a massive part in the show, JC (Bass) and Rich (Drums), are vital to bringing it all together and creating the energy that’s bouncing all over the venue.


Danko Jones pulled off one hell of a show tonight and judging by the crowd, nobody wanted the show to end. So until next time, I guess I’ll have to settle for listening to them on record but turned up very fucking loud!

Performance rating 5/5


The Rules

Play The Blues

Sugar Chocolate

Forget My Name

The Twisting Knife

Die, Die My Darling

Samuel Sin

First Date

Do You Wanna Rock

Had Enough

Code Of The Road



Watch You Slide



Gonna Be A Fight Tonight


Are You Ready

Body Bags

Full Of Respect


Words – Stephen Brophy

Photography – Stephen Brophy



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