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Finally back, Kodaline brings the optimism

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, December 6, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Kodaline may have taken a long layoff in playing Beantown - a good 3 1/2 years - but in this fickle musical world, that did not mean their fans abandoned them for a brand new thing. In fact, the venue sold out weeks ago. No surprise because, once again, the Irish rock band admirably combined old and new.

Kodaline was a bit of a musical potpourri of Coldplay (in particular, "The One" with the crowd singing along en masse), Imagine Dragons and a slight bit of U2. That meant a number of songs that could be considered anthemic and certainly friendly on the ears. There were any number of songs that fit that bill - from "Ready" to the quiet to eventually soaring "All I Want" in the encore.

Kodaline approached Imagine Dragons most on "Hell Freezes Over," a much harsher sound than typical with Garrigan barking out the lines as the music swirled around him. He also turned it up a few notches on the closing "High Hopes," the band's first single. A song of drinking and depression, the song overturns those sentiments on their heads for an optimism that pervades the Kodaline sound.

Near the close, Garrigan told the crowd, "It won't be three years next time." Easy to say that because after shows like this, the fans will keep coming back. Kodaline just needs to hold up their end of the bargain.

L.A.-based band Ocean Park Standoff opened with a satisfying set of danceable pop music. The group would not be accused of being unique, but they were easy to listen to.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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