Review: Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders at The Academy, Dublin

Originally published on Goldenplec on July 15 2010

Taylor Hawkins. Photo by Alessio Michelini

Review: Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders at The Academy, Dublin

Taylor Hawkins is best known for being the drummer with Foo Fighters and like Dave Grohl he has now become a front man, albeit still from behind a drumkit. Along with his band The Coattail Riders, they visited Ireland for the first time, in support of their album ‘Red Light Fever’.

Support in The Academy came from The Shoos, a Dublin five piece who could be compared The Fray or perhaps even Matchbox Twenty. They’ve a tight sound and seem quite comfortable on stage, comfortable enough to slag the drummer off! Their songs have well worked arrangements and they make great use of a second vocalist, using him as a second vocalist rather than just a backing singer.

All round the musicians and their melodic sounds work well, the songs ‘Distance’ and ‘Do It’ stand out from their set. They chose ‘Turn Round’ to close their set, a slower tempo-ed song, again with great second vocals. Unusual choice for the last song but it worked really well.

The Coattail Riders, who also feature Chris Chaney from Jane’s Addiction on bass, come to the stage and start playing their instruments, leaving Taylor Hawkins to come to the stage last. As Hawkin’s is also the lead singer/front man of the band, the drumkit has been moved forward to the front of the stage.

The band start with ‘Not Bad Luck’ the first track from their current album. The album production is quite seventies tinged and the band transfer this to their live sound quite well, with the vocal harmonies living up to expectations. They go straight into ‘Louise’, the band then stops mid-song, ask how everyone is and if it sounds Ok before finishing the track.

The band play a selection of tracks from their two albums. Hawkins is pretty much made to be a front man, he acknowledges that most of the audience probably don’t know this band or their music but they were there to try and ‘convert you’.

The Coattail Riders give a hard hitting rock show and the appreciation for good musicianship is shown after a guitar solo in ‘You Drive Me Insane’.

The crowd are attentive but seem like they may just be here because of what Hawkin’s day job is. Hawkins seems to realize this as he introduces each song. He, himself is entertaining, calling everyone ‘Darlings and Loves’ before playing ‘Running In Place’ what he describes as the closest he’s ever been to losing his mind.

‘Get Up I Wanna Get Down’ gives the crowd some of what they came here for, Hawkins featuring on a frantic drum solo. The seventies vibed sounds of the second album are heard in ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Way Down’, a track mixing a dash of Queen and The Sweet to the mix. Despite Hawkins’ claim that it is the stupidest song he has ever written, it gets a rousing reception.

Biggest reaction of the night though, went to ‘Cold Day in the Sun’ a Foo Fighters track, written and sang by Hawkins on ‘In Your Honour’. The audience burst into life, singing the words and clapping, arms raised in the air. This was the kick the crowd needed but unfortunately came eleven songs into the show.

The enthusiasm continues for Sunshine, Hawkins says its the last for now, explaining he’s ‘Sh1t at stage etiquette’. The band leave the stage briefly before returning for a two song encore. The show ends with the crowd now looking for more. This was a hard hitting rock gig with fantastic musicianship and a great personable front man. Can’t help but feel the crowd wanted more Foos.