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Concert review: Kodaline brought young love and sing-alongs to Newport Music Hall

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Gavin James of Kodaline performs May 19 at Newport Musical Hall . Credit: Judy Won / Lantern Photographer

Gavin James of Kodaline performs May 19 at Newport Musical Hall . Credit: Judy Won / Lantern Photographer

By the time I walked past Newport Music Hall Tuesday night around 5 p.m., a line was already stretching past Midway for the $5 show of the night, the final stop of Kodaline’s North American tour.

As Irish singer Gavin James took the stage, hundreds of loud screams by teenage girls quickly filled the venue.

Although I had never heard of him before, he picked up a new fan.  His set was filled with jokes as he constantly communicated back and forth between the crowd.  He mentioned how he’s never been to Columbus before and was told that it was the Buckeye state.

He opened up with “For You“ and the crowd literally cheered after each drawn out note or falsetto. His falsettos were wonderful and technically very sound. It made me wish my voice could go that high.

James jokingly told the crowd that he’ll be singing fast during the set, calling himself a “leprechaun on speed.”

His short set of 30 minutes ended with a well executed short cover of “What a Wonderful World.”  He somehow was able to manipulate his delicate voice to have the classic raspiness that Louis Armstrong sang the timeless song with.  He quickly rolled into the fast pace “Say Hello“ to close off the night.

James proved to being the perfect opener for Kodaline, and I hope to see him perform at future shows.

Irish rockers Kodaline took the stage a little past 9 p.m., but the crowd didn’t seem to mind as they roared with approval.

They opened up with “Ready,” shortly followed by “Love Like This” after short introductions.  “Love Like This” seemed to be a hit with the crowd singing along

While their accents might not be prevalent while they perform, the Irish was strong with frontman Steve Garrigan as he counted off “one, two, three” during the performance.

As soon as the piano/acoustic guitar intro for “High Hopes” began, the crowed cheered loudly and took over the song, singing the entire chorus with Garrigan playing the piano.  He accompanied the talented crowd during the chorus the second time around, with hundreds of people in perfect harmony.

While Kodaline has a more relaxing indie feel with a slight hit of rock, the Irish foursome did a pretty solid job at keeping the pace going, throwing in singles off of their most recent album.

A beautiful array of cymbal hits introduced a new song off Kodaline’s new album “Coming Up For Air,” “Coming Alive.”  Due to the fact that I haven’t listened to any of their newer stuff, the upbeat electronic beats throughout the song caught me off guard, in a good way.  The ending of “Coming Alive” was exceptional enough to be the end of their entire set, with all the instruments playing the same notes loudly, eventually strumming off at the same time.

The band didn’t really move around much on stage, except for the occasional rocking back and forth in place.  While they aren’t the most physically entertaining band, their music was up to par with Garrigan’s impressive falsettos.

Garrigan asked the fans to pull out their cell phones for their romantically influenced song “The One,” which he dedicated to a friend that recently just got married.  The trickling stage lights in the background added to the romantic feel of the song, making me feel like I was watching a movie where the perfect couple would come out for a dance.

They “ended” their set with “Love Will Set You Free”, telling the crowd to have a good night.

While a majority of the crowd seemed to be teenage girls, I was honestly really surprised to hear a man chanting “one more song” multiple times during the short break, which quickly infected the entire crowd into cheering.

After a few moments of darkness and the crowd chanting for more, the band came out for a three song long encore.  While the band was coming out, deafening screams of a thousand teenage girls hurt my ears more than being directly in front of the stage’s speakers.

The encore started off with “Honest,” rolling into a beautiful mixture of “Big Bad World,” “Talk” and Perfect World.”  The set came to an end with the one and only “All I Want,” the song that initially got me into Kodaline and the song that every teenage girl listened to as they wished they had their very own Augustus Waters of “The Fault In Our Stars.”

Clearly this was the favorite of the night as fans sang along to every word. Gavin James made an appearance with a tambourine.  When the song was suppose to come to an end, the band played the chorus again.  As the singing grew louder and louder, the band looked at each other laughing with enjoyment as their tour had officially come to an end.

Fans hold up their phones as lights for a song during the Kodaline concert May 19 at Newport Music Hall. Credit: Judy Won / Lantern Photographer

Fans hold up their phones as lights for a song during the Kodaline concert May 19 at Newport Music Hall. Credit: Judy Won / Lantern Photographer

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