The Cranberries Live in Singapore

The Dream of a comeback come true…

Considering we’re right in the midst of the traditional Chinese 7th month period, a haunting experience is what one would want to stay away from. However, that’s exactly what The Cranberries delivered to their fans after 8 long years.

On a hiatus since 2003, Dolores O’Riordan reminded the fans exactly what they had missed all these years – her amazing vocals still rings in my head way after the concert ended.

Kicking off with Analyse from their last studio album, Wake up and Smell the Coffee, it was aptly so as the crowd could close their eyes and breathe in ”this great moment” of the reunion of the one of the best exports from Ireland.

Dolores impressed the crowd with her wide vocal range and strong vocal control. Despite working the stage, running from end to end, making her trademark arm swings and hip-jiggling dance moves, she effortlessly belted out song after song, pitch perfect. It is a true testimony of the talent this woman has.

However, Dolores was not a one-woman show. The Cranberries quartet, which includes guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler, backed Dolores up strongly with their high energy levels and their tightness as a band. I’m sure the musicians in the crowd were pleased that the sound was well mixed by the sound engineers. Although the band at times seemed to rock harder than the system could take, it was generally not difficult to pick up the sound of each individual instrument.

For a band that has gone through much in life over the past 8 years, their conviction in their music was evident from their playing and singing. They delivered them with the same passion as if it was freshly written.

Songs like Animal Instinct was written by Dolores when she had her first child, Taylor Baxter Burton, now 13, who became her inspiration for several other songs at that point in time. Zombie was a powerful song inspired by how the band felt towards the troubled times of protest between Northern Ireland and England which resulted in killings. Songs that contains powerful messages tend to perform well in the charts. Zombie was, unsurprisingly, the band's biggest hit to date and one of the most well-received by the crowd.

Throughout the 21 song set, the crowd danced, clapped and sang voluntarily along with Dolores. This, despite her barely trying to work the crowd, other than the occasional microphone pointing, “You sing”.

Considering the unique alternative-celtic rock genre of music they bring, certain tracks like Linger and Just My Imagination would be considered far from danceable. Yet, the crowd still screamed and danced along. It goes to show the appeal of The Cranberries and how much the crowd enjoyed and missed their music. Songs like Ridiculous Thoughts and Salvation rallied the audience to jump up and down. It was almost ridiculously ironic that Salvation was once criticized for being too preachy, when Dolores donned on an Indian tribal chief head gear and danced around.

Two songs, including their first single Tomorrow, from their upcoming album Roses was introduced. Fans would delight to see them sticking to the same tried, tested and proven style of music, with characteristically strong electric guitar licks and riffs. The sound was strong. However, both songs seem to lack a great hook that will likely see them propelled to the greatness of tracks like Zombie. But certainly, fans can still look forward to being mesmerized by Dolores’ strong vocals when Roses is released sometime in January 2012.

The encore set saw Dolores clad in a royal purple dress, which was something fans don't often see this rock chick in. It was definitely the softer and more feminine side of her as she sang about being Shattered. A song penned before her first pregnancy, it was actually one of the lowest points of her life when she just wanted to shut the world out but had to face the pressures of an intrusive media world.

Rightly so, the concert ended off with the electric guitar intro that got fans all excited and screaming as she brought the house down with one of their earliest hits, Dreams. “Oh my life is changing every day. In every possible way” – a reunion which seemed so unlikely as they went on such a long break, is now a dream come true. Music lovers across all genres will come to appreciate the uniqueness and power of Dolores' vocals. And we shall dream, and await the release of their new album.

Photos courtesy of Hype Records

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