27 May 2014 – A packed-out Whelan’s hosted Real Estate’s return to Ireland, where space was at a premium. The American band is growing in popularity here and the young, enthusiastic crowd were ready to lap it up, just short of spilling onto the stage in the early moments. Support act Jet Setter, who earlier had impressed with their short set, were front and centre among the fans.
Launching confidently into instrumental April’s Song, taken from the band’s third and current album, Atlas, Real Estate effortlessly demonstrated their brand of indie rock throughout, reminiscent of early REM and Teenage Fanclub – praise indeed. Ably led by lead singer and guitarist Martin Courtney, the set covered a range of songs from their three albums to date, all the while keeping a rowdy crowd satisfied and keen for more.
Things calmed down a bit for the mellow grooves of songs such as Crime and Primitive, with the band lording it on stage like a bunch of lazy, contented summer slackers. Meanwhile with a certain irony, Out of Tune merely demonstrated how musically tight this group are. A breakneck version of crowd favourite It’s Real was also a sing-along highlight. Outros are where this act excels, spinning songs out in way that is never indulgent but only enhances.
The encore began with a suitably boozy version of Suburban Beverage, with its “Budweiser Sprite, do you feel alright?” refrain, before picking up again with recent single Talking Backwards. All in all, an enjoyable show if lacking a real stand-out moment, and no doubt the band will play to another sell-out when they return to Dublin later this year.