The National Concert Hall, Dublin - Thu 16th April 2009
By Daniel Lindon

For fans there is probably nothing more to be said about Brian Kennedy that hasn't already been said. His stunning voice, handsome good looks and sensual stage presence are all well documented. Particularly so in his native Ireland, where his success has remained consistent and his fan base loyal throughout a career that has seen him top the charts, host TV specials, perform numerous sell out live shows, write a best selling novel and even represent his country at Eurovision in a slightly odd but nonetheless well executed decision.

This concert was billed as ‘a celebration with special guests’ of Brian’s first 20 years. The special guests did not materialise apart from an ill judged opening act who seemed to think performing meant looking at her guitarist (an excellent musician) and ignoring her audience. However with Brian Kennedy guests are not required. From the moment he takes to the stage this relatively small man physically seems to take on a God like form. He is without a doubt a dish best served live, as his huge stage presence is diminished somewhat on Television or Video. In a set that spanned most of his albums to date he delivered a self-assured and accomplished performance. Looking fit after his well publicised workouts with a top Irish personal trainer, he seemed to have transformed his body towards the muscular matching his already well toned vocal chords which are indeed a rare gift. I have said before and will say again until the rest of the world listens that Brian Kennedy is one of the finest vocalists on the planet. Many of those present at the sell out show were from the UK where he seems to be gaining new fans all the time.

Particular highlights on the night were new interpretations of his first big hit from 1989 ‘Captured’ (regarded in Ireland as a modern classic), a brilliant performance of his masterpiece ‘A Different God’ and his almost supernatural take on another modern Irish classic ‘Galileo’ from the most recent album, last years outstanding ‘Interpretations’. The only question one is left with after yet another superb show is what can Brian Kennedy possibly do next to keep him motivated and engaged with his audience and challenge him to grow even more as an artist. The answer only he knows. He has managed to keep us interested and entertained for 20 years so far so lets wait and see what the boy does next.