Yet again, 2019 was another year of regular gig going. This was an interesting year, and more and more often music was needed as a distraction this year to navigate difficulties along the way, and to try and make sense of the strange reality around us. Thankfully, there was quality shows that made things easier.

This article will outline the best shows that I saw over the year, and the reasons why they stood out above the rest. But first of all, here are some of the honourable mentions…

And now…

5. Dan Elliott (Lost Lane)

2019 was a big year for Cork singer/songwriter Dan Elliott, a string of well received singles were backed up by a series of live dates. The highlight of these dates came in mid December when Elliott played a show in the Grafton Street venue of Lost Lane. It was a wonderful night of music and it was clear from watching that the Corkman enjoyed every second of being on stage. It felt like the beginning of much bigger things to come in the following years.

4. All Tvvins (National Stadium)

Since their inception, Dublin trio All Tvvins have been regarded as one of the best live bands in the business. Known for their energy and phenomenal musicianship, all these attributes were on show when they played the National Stadium back in April.

3. Graham Mitchell (Whelan’s)

When Graham Mitchell strode onto the stage in Whelan’s back in May, it was immediately clear that something special was about to happen. This was one of those gigs that reminded you of how lovely it can be to see hard-working musicians fulfil their dreams. This was a fantastic show with one of the most warm atmosphere’s that I have ever experienced at a gig and it was one of the clear highlights of the year.

2. Delorentos (The Workman’s Club)

A band that defined a decade for me and remain to this day my favourite band of all time, there is something so nice about being able to see them perform in small and intimate venues still. Their show as part of the We Are Workman’s festival back in August was the perfect reminder as to why they are one of the standout acts of the last ten years.

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Still the greatest. @delorentos #weareworkmans

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1. Dermot Kennedy (3 Arena)

It honestly seems like a waste of time for me to even try to describe how good this show was. Much like 2018, there was a clear stand out when I think back on all the live music that I saw this year. All year Dermot Kennedy has been releasing music that has connected in a special way and felt like a commentary on where my life was going – this was the perfect culmination of all that. From songs that caused tears one minute, to songs that made you feel hopeful and inspired the next, this was special.

Here’s to many more in the new year.