The Academic returned to Cork for their biggest Leeside show yet at a jam-packed marquee. Joining the Westmeath quartet for support were two local artists, Gerald Ahern and Stephanie Rainey.
Opening up on the night was local man Gerald Ahern, who was a late addition to the line-up. The Dublin Hill singer lightened up the marquee with his synth pop songs and had the early arrivers vying for more.
Throughout, Ahern was soaking up every moment and deservedly so. He knew what the crowd wanted and he delivered with his short set.
By the time Ahern had finished, he had well and truly set the tone for the night after leaving the crowd screaming out for more.
A rising star and another local homegrown talent, Stephanie Rainey has worked tirelessly to earn moments like performing in a packed marquee.
Receiving a huge reception on her return to Cork, Rainey had the crowd in the palm of her hand from the stroke of the first chord.
The sound on her vocals was disappointing, making it difficult to hear most of what she was singing or saying in between each song. This didn’t seem to matter too much to the audience as they sang along to every word emphatically.
The Skibbereen native conducted the crowd, with big sing alongs during ‘100 Like Me’ and ‘Question Mark’, it was a potential glimpse into the future, where it could be her headlining the marquee.
It was a big moment for The Academic, from playing to small crowds in Cyprus Avenue to being the bridesmaid but never the bride in the marquee. Finally their moment came and they grabbed it with both hands.
The atmosphere was electric inside the marquee and frontman, Craig Fitzgerald was a thrilling showman as he danced around the stage to the crowd’s delight.
Sharing inspiration behind songs like ‘Fake ID’, which came from an awkward encounter with hotel security while he chilled in a jacuzzi during their tour in America last year, the frontman had everyone’s attention with every word that came out of his mouth.
With hair-raising moments including a cover of The Frank and Walters’ ‘After All’, which featured on Young Offenders or the closing song ‘Different’, there were many occasions that had potential to be the highlight of the crowd’s summer.