Dermot Kennedy with SYML – Louisville, KY

Dermot Kennedy with SYML
Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
Louisville, KY
Words and Images by Emily May
Irish rock musician Dermot Kennedy performed recently in Louisville, KY on his Without Fear North American Tour in support of his debut album Without Fear.  The venue was packed this evening with fans who were visibly excited for the evening ahead.  Kennedy has a special way about him, commanding the stage while at the same time mesmerizing the crowd with his beautiful voice and passionate performance.  The stage production this evening was amazing, with beautiful lighting that was a kaleidoscope of color that varied from song to song, as well as a variety of designs and videos playing on a large screen behind the stage.  It wasn’t until after the first three songs, when I exited the photo pit and found a good spot in the balcony, that I was able to truly appreciate the beauty of the stage production.  The gorgeous lights and beautiful imagery added a magical ambiance to the evening.  Although he spent plenty of time performing, Kennedy also chatted with the crowd between songs, whether it was to thank everyone for coming out this evening or to talk about the meaning behind many of the songs he performed.  Starting out with “An Evening I Will Not Forget”, he played several other songs from his album, including “The Corner”, about an inspiring friend who had reason to be bitter with the world but chose to move forward with love, hope and optimism, “Lost” and “All My Friends”.  About halfway through his set, he told the crowd that whatever difficulty they were going through, to know it won’t be permanent, that it won’t last forever.  He then sang his hit song “Outnumbered”, followed by “For Island Fires and Family”, a song he described as him as going to a place in his mind that represents safety and home, telling the crowd “Whatever place that is for you, think of that place during that song”.  He ended the set this evening with “Power Over Me” and “After Rain”.  Seattle singer-songwriter Brian Fennell, who goes by the stage name SYML, opened the show.  Explaining that SYML, pronounced “simmel”, is Welsh for simple, he gave a simple but powerful performance that had the crowd cheering and singing along in no time. Chatting often with the crowd with stories both funny and serious, he definitely made some new fans this evening and got the crowd ready for Dermot Kennedy’s performance.  It was an incredible night of music and was abundantly clear that everyone had a great time!

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