| 6.7°C Dublin


THE lady in red is all about love. She urges us to listen to our hearts, too.

That dude at the diner – the one who always orders a hot chocolate? Ask him out, girl! Ain't that what love is about?

It is to Alicia Keys, who re-enacts a scene from the You Don't Know My Name music video live on stage in Dublin.

Come to think of it, she probably does it every night. Indeed, the Set the World on Fire tour may be a surprisingly low-key affair; a charming theatre show made for arenas. But that doesn't mean that New York's finest R&B specialist is in any mood to scale back the script.

Last time around, she had a cage and a keytar. Tonight, the stunning 32-year-old mostly sticks to the piano. It suits her.


There may not be much room for spontaneity. Heck, there are very few signs to suggest that Keys is enjoying this gig any more or less than the last one, but when she's good, she's very, very good.

A talented pianist with a gorgeous pop vocal, Keys glides effortlessly through the songs that made her name (nice to see she's back to delivering her 2001 debut Fallin' the way we remember it), as well as the tracks that continue to keep her on top (No One, Girl on Fire).

Whereas, say, Beyonce might spend half the night getting changed, Keys prefers to keep things simple. One outfit for the main set, a ball gown for the finale (the superb Empire State of Mind, featuring a pre-recorded video clip of Jay-Z).

Granted, there's not nearly enough love for Keys as there used to be – at least not in Ireland. Call it a typical mid-week crowd – maybe even blame it on her decision to replace the shiny bells and whistles of previous tours with a more intimate, musically minded setting, but not every number is a winner.

Perhaps if she broke out of character and let loose more often, we might feel inclined to do the same. A good show, then. But I'm still waiting to see a great one ...