Sunday 19 January 2020

Review: Faithless Olympia, Dublin

Maxi Jazz
Maxi Jazz
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Dido's big brother Rollo have been the principal members of Faithless since 1995. While it could be argued that the dance collective are well past their commercial 12 million album selling peak, especially considering they haven't graced the top 10 since 2002, they've no trouble whatsoever filling the Olympia to capacity.

Straight from the offset, Faithless go for a full on, ballsy show that would put most of the other dance super groups of the 1990s and the hip young turks of today to shame. Their energy and blistering live power is extraordinary. Two percussionists provide a raw edge absent from most electronic music and Sister Bliss is still arguably the finest keyboard player in dance music.

Sensibly, material from their newly released album 'The Dance' is kept to a minimum. The dance floor classics that defined thousands of Ibiza memories are all present and correct. 'God is A DJ' is disposed with surprisingly early on. God mightn't really be a DJ, but for the fervent disciples of Faithless, God definitely is a blistering live dance band.

Maxi Jazz (pictured above) is one of the most effective frontmen in dance -- no pointless platitudes, just an industrious and mesmerising performance. Sister Bliss, who is also a very successful DJ in her own right, is one of the most influential and talented female figures in dance music.

'Insomnia' still sounds as fresh as it did way back in 1996 and the crowd scenes in the Olympia also resemble that era.

They save the best tune for last with their 2001 hit 'We Come 1'.

Despite the faux-hippyish lyrics, it's an absolute belter. Sister Bliss layers the keys melodies for the breakdown and the Olympia goes ballistic.

They might never scale the dizzy heights of late 1990s and early Noughties again, but in terms of a live show, they've precious few equals in their field.

Irish Independent

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