If This Is Love

Recently, I went to see Dublin based rockers, Fade to Light at the launch of their newest single ‘If This Is Love’.

I had been following the band for a little over a year and fell in love with them as soon as I first saw them. I knew when I got the Facebook invite to the gig, I had to be there! As the day drew closer, I got my work rota and realised I was going to be working until 7. I was devastated because by bus, it’s a 2 hour and 45 minute journey to Dublin by bus and that’s provided everything runs on time, which it rarely does with Dublin coach! I knew that getting to the gig was an impossible feat and I gave up, a little dejected.

A few days later, I got a message on Facebook from their drummer, Dave. He asked me would I be going to the gig and offered me guestlist for being so supportive of the band. Such a sweet offer made me feel even worse about not being able to go but work is work and unfortunately, it does often get in the way of my gig life. I messaged one of my friends to tell him how I was annoyed that I had to work and miss the gig and because I have some of the most amazing friends in the world, he offered to drive me up as soon as I finished work. I knew i’d have to miss the support acts, which was a little disheartening, but I also knew this meant that i’d make it just in time for Fade To Light to take to the stage! I was nothing short of delighted as I messaged Dave back to tell him I would likely be seeing them after all.

The morning of the gig rolled around and I woke half an hour early to try do my ‘gig makeup’ rather than my everyday makeup, despite knowing that after an 11 hour shift, this would probably be smudged half way down my face. Makeup done, I ran out the door ready for a day of work. Throughout the day, the tiredness crept in but I pushed it back away with my trusted companion, coffee (and maybe a can or two of red bull!).

Seven o’clock came and I ran down the four flights of stairs in work to find my friend waiting outside the door, engine running. If there was anyone or anything I could rely on, it was that he would get me to that gig on time come hell or high water. And he did! At exactly 9:03pm, we strolled in the door of The Wild Duck bar and music venue to the high energy sounds of Warped Minds, Fade to Light’s second support act. As expected, I had unfortunately missed Ava Mckechnie, their first support act. I was hoping to catch Ava as I had discovered that Fade to Lights frontman Jeremiah, was actually her father. Although a little disappointed that I was missing Ava, I have another super friend who was also at the gig and sent me plenty of pictures and videos on Snapchat, to make sure I wasn’t missing out entirely!

I managed to catch the last song from Warped Minds before they finished up their set. It may have been their last song but it was enough to know that they’re an under appreciated gem in the music industry who are going to go far. A lively pop/rock band from Dublin, they were the perfect choice to warm up the crowd before the main act. The buzz in the room was evident, with people dancing and swaying to the happy tones eminating from the stage.

A roaring applause erupted from the jam packed room, as the four members of Fade To Light appeared through the crowd. Dave made his way to his drumkit, Stephen to his bass guitar, Kevin to lead guitar and Jay took to the centre of the stage, the perfect front man. The band opened their set with ‘Sleep Tonight’, a song which had the crowd captured from the first note. Multiple times throughout their set, the band stopped to thank their fans for being there. The gratitude was clear on their faces as they listed the places that some fans had traveled from; Cork, Limerick and even some from England.

As they sang their way through their setlist, the diversity of the bands’ music was evident. Slow songs, fast songs, happy ones and sad ones. The crowd matched the mood of each song, dancing and singing, smiles all around. The one thing that every song had in common was that you could hear a pin drop in the room while they were being played.

I was most excited to hear ‘Sweetly’, my favourite song that can be found on Soundcloud here. Apparently their final song, the lads joked and winked about finishing up after that one.

One thing we were missing though? The reason we were all there? The single launch of ‘If This Is Love’. The crowd cheered and cheered for one more tune. “We have no more” was the response from one of the members, a cheeky smile on his face. The cheers continued as the band paused before launching into the opening notes of their newest release. One look around the room and you could see that I wasn’t the only one who knew all the lyrics already! The atmosphere in the room was electric and you could tell that nobody wanted the night to end. One final thank you to everyone who had come and the night was over.

After the gig, I waited around for a quick chat with the lads. No sooner were they off the stage and they were over to me, expressing their gratitude once more that I had come to see them. Kev handed me one of their setlists, knowing how much I would have wanted one. I grabbed my sharpie from my bag and asked them all to give it a quick sign for me, since I keep a collection of my setlists from each gig I go to. When I handed it to Stephen, he turned to me with a grin and told me that my setlist was the first ever thing that he had signed for anyone. Something like that really resonated with me because the exact same thing had been said to me a few years beforehand by the now household name, Dermot Kennedy. The same Dermot Kennedy that sold out shows across Europe and the US. The same Dermot Kennedy that played Coachella. The same Dermot Kennedy who sold out 2 nights in the 3arena. And the same Dermot Kennedy that only a few years ago was busking on the streets of Dublin, unknown to everyone.

If you get a chance to support smaller Irish musicians and bands such as Fade To Light, then please do. You never know how big they may be some day.


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