From U2 to Aslan, Ireland has produced some of the best live bands in the world.
These five performances are there with the best that Irish music has to offer, with hard-hitting lyrics, stunning vocals and incredible crowd interaction.
You can count yourself very lucky if you managed to catch one of these performances in the flesh.
U2 – Bloody Sunday
No list of great Irish live music shows could be complete without U2’s iconic performance Sunday Bloody Sunday at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado in 1983.
The performance is packed with iconic moments, from Bono’s famous introductory statement that “this is not a rebel song” to the sight of the U2 frontman waving a white flag while marching to a militaristic drum beat.
Sunday Bloody Sunday’s performances on U2’s 1983 ‘War’ tour helped cement the band’s anti-war status, while this particular performance was included in the Rolling Stones’ ’50 Moments That Changed Life’ list. history of rock and roll”.
The Cranberries – Zombie
As was the case with Sunday Bloody Sunday, Zombie’s message and popularity quickly spread beyond Troubles-era Northern Ireland, leading to this iconic performance at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris in 1999.
Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordain interacted masterfully with the energetic crowd and called for peace to be maintained in Northern Ireland.
“We wrote this song five years ago in the hope of peace in the north of Ireland. Things are looking better than ever, so let’s hope for peace by Christmas,” O’Riordain told the court in inviting them to clap.
A video of the performance received 137 million views on YouTube, making it one of the most popular Irish videos on the platform.
Aslan – It’s
While Sunday Bloody Sunday and Zombie are anti-war anthems suitable for a large venue, Aslan’s This Is is arguably perfectly suited to the intimate atmosphere of Vicar Street.
This 1999 performance encapsulates everything great about one of Dublin’s finest bands, including perfect vocals, punchy lyrics, magnificent crowd interaction and frontman Christy Dignam’s unforgettable stage presence.
Few Irish songs rival This Is in the best days, but almost none come close to this performance.
Click here look.
Girl from Galway – Mundy and Sharon Shannon
Mundy and Sharon Shannon took Ireland by storm with their 2008 cover of Steve Earle’s Galway Girl, which became an instant classic.
The duo have taken the song to venues and festivals across the country for the past 14 years, but it’s this 2016 performance in Galway City that stands out.
Over 15,000 people took part in the show on June 11, 2016, making it the biggest street performance ever of Earle’s classic.
With lots of flags, dancing and singing, the performance epitomized Galway’s world famous atmosphere and charm.
The Green Fields of France – Finbar Furey and Christy Dignam
Ok, so that’s technically cheating because the song was performed on Ireland’s Late Late Show, rather than in concert, but it was still performed in front of a live audience, so it’s good enough for us.
Finbar Furey and Christy Dignam teamed up in January 2017 to perform this heartbreaking rendition of Eric Bogle’s Green Fields of France.
You could hear a pin drop as the two veteran singers sang the famous anti-war song.
While every other performance on the list relies somewhat on a vibrant, interactive crowd, this jaw-dropping rendition is the exact opposite and achieves greatness through audience silence.
What’s your all-time favorite Irish musical performance? Let us know in the comments.