Volume 93, Issue 1
Friday, May 14, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Cranberries sour in Toronto
By Randy Quan
Perhaps it was the mix of baby boomers and generation Xers which offset the enthusiasm of the crowd at Massey Hall last Saturday night. Even though it was nearly three years since Irish rock group The Cranberries last played in Toronto, the energy level was undoubtedly lacking.
Nevertheless, lead singer Dolores O'Riordon gave it her all on stage, turning in a typically energetic performance. O'Riordon, never stationary for more than a few moments, belted out songs in her unique voice to the capacity crowd.
The show, which had been originally planned for the Phoenix, began with the up tempo single "Promises" from their latest album, Bury The Hatchet. But unlike the spunky O'Riordon, the other members of the band were not doing anything to spur on the crowd. Even though lead guitarist Noel Hogan and bassist Mike Hogan sounded great, they acted like they had cement in their shoes they hardly budged two feet either way during the entire show. Their lack of charisma eventually wore down the audience to the point where a pre-teen, only rows away from the front, fell asleep.
Popular songs like "Linger" and "Zombie" roused the crowd out of their slumber near the end of the show, but it was not enough to salvage the overall performance which was probably better suited to a smaller venue. The Cranberries' songs would have translated much better in a more intimate setting, as opposed to the church-like cavern of Massey Hall.
After the conclusion of the regular set it seemed the audience was simply following a kind of concert etiquette as their first encore was likely one of the quietest and quickest the Cranberries have ever heard. This may be why the band took an inordinately longer time to return to the stage for their concluding songs.
In the end, the show was a satisfying fix for those diehard Cranberries fans who have been waiting three years for new material. However, those just looking for an evening of entertainment might have been left disappointed by the uninspired, lacklustre performance.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999