MODERAT, Vicar Street, Dublin, Wednesday, SOLD OUT.
Apparat and Modeselektor should save us all the embarrassment of having to call Moderat a Berlin ‘supergroup’ and just get on with becoming a full-time trio. Every time they combine, we realise they are even better than the considerable sum of their parts.
Apparat is a perfect balance to Modeselektor’s dubby, glitchy techno and breakbeat, adding a minor key melancholy and melody to the duo’s more sweaty workouts.
Their new album III completes the seven-year trilogy and they’ve finally fused as one without the need for guest vocalists or tangents in each other’s style. It’s a soulful evolution that doesn’t drown in sentimentality.
The lower bpm also takes away some of the weirdness of a techno gig that’ll finish at 11pm on a school night.
SECTION BOYZ, Green Room at the Academy, Dublin, tonight, SOLD OUT
With grime on a second wave surge that’s about to finally crash it into the mainstream and break America, Section Boyz are even easier than the likes of Skepta and Stormzy for the States to digest.
The London rappers grew up in the shadow of Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, but they’re more in thrall to trap lords like the A$AP Mob, and dense, ominous strings over brittle grime minimalism.
They’ve been joined on stage by Skepta, Drake and A$AP Rocky for high-profile posse cuts recently, so they’re only set to get bigger. This one sold out long ago, and the little Green Room stage will get cramped with the six of them up there.
PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT, Dolans, Limerick, tonight, €22.50 & Academy, Dublin, tomorrow, €23.50
With only Morrissey rivalling him as Chief Bigmouth, Peter Hook strikes again for what must be his 20th shows here in the last few years.
After a messy divorce with his old band New Order, he’s on a mission to play every song he ever recorded live – and in an interview with The Star two years ago he said: “And that even includes Republic, but I’ll take out the girly vocals.”
Tonight he’s playing Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures and Closer albums back to back, playing New Order songs as his own support band. Tomorrow, he’s turning that around, performing New Order’s Low Life and Brotherhood, with an intro set of Joy Division songs.
I was well dubious at the thought of a Hooky solo show and put it off for ages til around a year ago, but he and his band definitely nail the songs live. It just depends on where you stand on the legacy. No matter what, it’s always a buzz to see that bass hanging around his knees.
BLANCK MASS, Grand Social, Dublin, tomorrow, €16
As one half of Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power has spent a decade wringing epic soundscapes out of the noisiest of raw materials, evolving from banging on bastardised kids’ electronic toy pianos and telephones, to soundtracking the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
Power’s first album as Blanck Mass in 2011 was a serene departure, a nebulous, beatless collection that served as a zen mood piece.
Last year’s follow-up Dumb Flesh is a visceral jolt from this meditative state – with its industrial-strength mechanical frazzle and piledriving metallic beats making it one of the knockout albums of the year.
We’re guessing he’ll be leaning on the Dumb Flesh material in the Grand Social, so there won’t be much respite.
MUSE, 3Arena, Dublin, Tuesday, 63.50-83.50 & SSE Arena, Belfast, Wednesday, £49-55
Never ones for subtlety, Muse’s latest album Drones is their most heavy-handed yet, being a concept album about actual drones, with military samples of drill sergeants, JFK and a sleeve straight out of the take-it-literal 80s heavy metal bargain basement.
Muse get a lot of well-deserved stick for their po-faced take on prog metal, but this will at least be an amazing spectacle of a show – with giant floating orbs and a bomber plane that circles the arena.
Whatever the message on the new album and its stage show, you could still ignore all that and focus on Matt Bellamy performing insanely dextrous feats with his voice, guitar and piano – is he Freddie Mercury, Eddie Van Halen or Keith Emerson? This’ll make U2’s last efforts seem austere in comparison.