After two years, ten months and nineteen days since music filled the Marquee, there was no better act to kick off the post pandemic return than Live at the Marquee veterans The Coronas. The Irish rock trio have played the venue eight times over its 15-year history, and as front man Danny O’Reilly told the roaring crowd on Friday night, “coming back to playing in the Marquee is like coming home for us”.
By the time The Coronas took to the stage, the crowd had already been electrified by Cork-grown opening acts Emmo and True Tides.
It was a family affair for rising stars True Tides, a band made up of the three MacSweeney brothers Cian, Conor and Eoghan, who also welcomed their sisters Ciara and Emma on stage for backing vocals. It was the first time playing the Marquee for the Ballintemple boys, and their energy and excitement was infectious.
““This means the world to us, its our first time playing the Marquee, and we grew up only down the road,” said lead singer Cian.
As The Coronas took to the stage, there was a sense that the band were just as in awe of the crowd as they were of them – pausing the music now and again to revel in the roar of five thousand people echoing through the high top.
"We’re so unbelievably honoured and proud to be the first gig back, it’s totally emotional being back up here,” said Danny.
There was hardly a lull in The Coronas hit-packed setlist, which is hardly surprising with a six-album repertoire for the band to choose from. Fans were treated to new releases, such as Strive and the title track from the bands latest album, True Love Waits.
With a quick lyric change, LA at Night turned into Leeside at Night, as Danny sang “I’ve never seen Cork before, from this high”.
Almost as if to confirm that the audience was actually real after being away for so long, Danny even came down to walk amongst the crowd (much to the dismay of a security guard hot on his heels), chanting “it’s gonna be okay, we’re gonna be okay”.
There was the air of old friends gathering for a singsong, as the band were joined by Walking on Cars pianist Sorcha Durham, All Tvvins guitarist Lar Kaye and Cork based backing singer and trumpeter Dave O’Keeffe.
“I think everyone has had a really tough couple of years, and we deserve this, we deserve to be in a big group having the craic and singing a couple of songs,” said Danny, taking a step back from the mic and leaving most of the encore to be sung by the crowd themselves.
There’s no doubt but that The Coronas have warmed up the Corkonian crowd for a bumper month of gigs under the blue and yellow big top.