It’s hard to believe how quickly it has all happened for Picture This. Two years as a band and they have already sold out shows across Ireland, the U.K. and all their shows in the States, became the first band to sell out the Olympia before releasing an album (they sold out five nights last Christmas), signed to a major record label, played festivals including Electric Picnic and Reading & Leeds, sold out the 3Arena in three minutes and, most recently, released a chart-topping debut album. Somehow however, this intimate surprise concert feels like something of a homecoming for the two Athy men.
Excitement levels were high even before the doors were open. The band had announced the gig only 24 hours previously but had kept the venue a secret until the very last minute. At 5PM the band tweeted that Crane Lane was to host the show and by 5:10 the place was mobbed. People of all ages stood in line, hoping beyond hope that they had ran fast enough to secure a place inside for what was sure to be a special evening. Many were left disappointed, with only approximately 200 people allowed in the venue. As soon as the band appeared on stage however, it felt like the room was full to the brim, with the audience of hundreds screaming with the strength of thousands as phones flew into the air from all sides, hoping to capture an important moment in the band’s meteoric rise. From the moment the opening chords of their hit single “Take My Hand” could be heard over the screams, it felt like Picture This had the world at their fingertips.
The band played their album in full, with the crowd willing them on with bated breath. For the first four or five songs, the audience sang back every word, both main and backing vocals. They sung with such vivacity main singer Ryan Hennessy had very little to do himself. The band played their part however, playing with skill and confidence while urging the crowd to give it their all. After five songs however, it became clear that the hits were played and songs less known and the audience made a lot of noise by talking amongst themselves and almost ignoring who they’d come to see. The biggest cheers were reserved for ‘Take My Hand’, ‘Addicted To You’, ‘Never Change’ and the moment Hennessy decided to take off his shirt. As the band reached the end of their set, they decided to play ‘Take My Hand’ as an encore and the audience rose to peak excitement once more. The audience and band a like gave it everything they had to cap off what was a special night of excitement, joy and a band taking stock and enjoying their climb to the top where they had played their very first Cork gig less than 23 months previously. But the question remains, when we next see them will they be continuing the rise or beginning the decline. At the moment, it’s difficult to see the later.