Following on from my feature on the top rap gigs to be frequenting this summer in Ireland, I'm turning my gaze to the rock scene, where again I'll be previewing a number of excellent upcoming concerts that I'll be attending over the next few months, and so should you.
Bob Dylan (17th June, The 02)
This will be a divisive one for sure; personally, I was hugely disappointed in Dylan's show at the 02 last time around but perhaps I expected too much of a man who is now 72 years of age and still touring like he was in his early twenties. In any case, there's no debating the fact that Robert Zimmerman is simply one of the greatest songwriters of all time, if not the absolute best, so seeing the legendary folk figure take to stage should be on any self respecting music fan's bucket list. Tickets are going between e65-e76.
Elbow were one of the most consistent alternative rock bands of the 21st century for a long period before they blew up in 2008 with the hugely successful The Seldom Seen Kid, and since then they've only continued their solid output with Build A Rocket Boys! in 2011 and this year's The Take Off And Landing Of Everything. Guy Garvey and co. are big favourites in Ireland due to their wonderful set of festival appearances over the past few years and you can expect them to be in flying form at the end of June as they return to our green pastures for a date in Kilmainham which will set you back e49.50.
The Arcade Fire w. The Pixies (29th June, Marlay Park)
Along with Kanye 3 days later, this is the Irish gig of the summer for my money. The greatest rock band in the world right now performing with one of the greatest and most influential of all time is not to be missed under any circumstances. Pixies new material has yet to be judged even if it does sound fairly dodgy and a small legion of fans were left alienated by Reflektor last year even if the majority rightly judged it to be another triumph from Win Butler's troops, but on June 29th any doubts will be cast aside on a night of celebration for two truly special artists who are guaranteed to put on a spectacle in Dublin for concert goers. Tickets are still available for e61.50- if you haven't picked one up, do it now.
Eels (1st & 2nd July, Olympia Theatre)
E hasn't quite reached the bar he set early in his career with the likes of Electro Shock Blues and Daises Of The Galaxy since returning in 2009 with Hombre Loco and following it up with a series of average albums, but I can personally attest to Eels superb live show having witnessed them at a belting St. Patrick's Day show in Vicar Street half a decade ago, and the Olympia will be a great setting to hear the eccentricities of Mark Oliver Everett on display. Even if E understandably leans towards his newer material, you'll be sure to hear set highlights like ''Flyswatter'', ''Cancer For The Cure'' and ''Novocaine For The Soul'' which are worth the ticket price of just under 40 quid anyway.
The Prodigy (2nd July, The Marquee)
The long awaited release of The Prodigy's 6th album How To Steal A Jet Fighter (they announced its title a full 2 years ago) is still up in the air, but it's hard to complain when hitting the road and still doing what they do best; performing live to their insane fans. After returning to form in 2009 with Invaders Must Die, Prodigy's live show was perfected on the subsequent tour, and if you were lucky enough to witness them back then, you'll need no excuse to grab a ticket to see them in The Marquee, Cork this time around even with the steep 60 euro price tag attached. It's also interesting to note their no show in Dublin- perhaps a sign that there is a festival appearance yet to be announced for the electronic legends in the capital, with the most likely destination being Electric Picnic.
Arctic Monkeys w. Jake Bugg, Miles Kane & Royal Blood (12th July, Marlay Park)
There really is no better time to witness Alex Turner and co. in action following on from one of their finest releases ever last year in AM, and you can expect a mix of classics new and old from the Sheffield lads. The supporting line up doesn't look like much to be fair, but an Arctic's show in Dublin is never to be missed, an you can expect a huge set in Marlay Park this July. Tickets are going for their expected price at e60.
The National (18th & 19th July, Iveagh Gardens)
Another hugely successful indie act of the noughties, The National's consistently impressive output continued last year with Trouble Will Find Me, another widely acclaimed record from the American natives. Their set at the Iveagh Gardens is a hidden gem considering its e42 pricing and support from Owen Pallett, Arcade Fire instrumentalist and composer as well as excellent and under appreciated solo artist, who drops his fourth individual record In Conflict before the Dublin date.