Fontaines D.C. | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Fontaines D.C. performing during the The Car Tour at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas on September 15, 2023, with Carlos O'Connell, Conor Curley, Conor Deegan III, Tom Coll, and Grian Chatten. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Ireland's premier post-punk quintet Fontaines D.C. are generating a reputation for being one of indie rock's most exciting acts. Across five years and three albums, the five-piece have attracted fans the world over with their abrasive, punk-inspired vocals, catchy melodies, and quick-paced rhythms -- a formula that grows even more powerful in a live setting.

Band members Grian Chatten (vocals), Carlos O'Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar), Conor Deegan III (bass), and Tom Coll (drums) originally met in Dublin, where they were attending college at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. Bonding over a shared love of poetry, they soon began writing their own verses and self-releasing singles.

The band initially called themselves "The Fontaines" after a character in The Godfather (Johnny Fontane, the godson of Vito Corleone), but they added the "D.C." (for Dublin City) after learning that a band in Los Angeles were also called The Fontaines.

In May 2017, D.C. Fontaines released the single "Liberty Belle," a reference to Dublin's Liberties neighborhood. That was followed by "Hurricane Laughter"/"Winter In the Sun." The next year, D.C. Fontaines released "Chequeless Reckless"/"Boys In The Better Land" and "Too Real." Their star rose in the U.S. when Seattle radio station KEXP invited them to play an in-studio set, and D.C. Fontaines were then signed to prominent indie label Partisan Records.

In 2019, D.C. Fontaines released their debut album, Dogrel. The name is a reference to "Doggerel," another name for working-class Irish poetry, or "poetry of the people." That same year, D.C. Fontaines toured extensively, stopping in 50 cities throughout Ireland, Europe, and North America. They also made their late-night TV debut on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," performing "Boys in the Better Land."

In 2020, D.C. Fontaines released their sophomore album, A Hero's Death, which earned them a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards. They also returned to "The Tonight Show," where they performed their album's title track.

In early 2022, D.C. Fontaines announced their third studio album, Skinty Fia, and shared a lead single, "Jackie Down the Line." Now that they are more established, D.C. Fontaines have been widely recognized as the ringleaders in a wave of '20s post-punk revivalist acts from the UK, including IDLES, Dry Cleaning, Shame, and more.
Fan reviews:

Love them so much! The on stage presence they give is so much fun! Will 100% see them next time.

Awesome show! Fontaines DC put on an awesome with lots energy and great guitar heavy sounds.

The sound for this show was absolutely perfect. Grian is an amazing frontman with a mix of energy, passion and showmanship that fed off the audience. I was not expecting such a passionate performance but he put put it all out there. Carlos and Conor were both amazing guitarists that complemented each others sound. Both switched through a variety of guitars that rendered totally different sounds to the mix. Their bassist Conor added a lot of backing vocals and their drummer Tom was wearing a Sleep shirt, one of my fav bands, and he played his ass off the entire time. The show was a 10/10 and I wish the band continued success and appreciate that they stopped here.

Love this band! This was my third time seeing these lads from Dublin and they do not disappoint! I can't recommend seeing them live enough, they put on a great show! Grian an excellent frontman, rarely still while on stage, is energetic and engages the crowd. Go see this band, they're gonna be big!

Unbelievable show! This was my second time seeing Fontaines this year. Fontaines put on a great show every time, they are unreal. The energy at their shows is awesome! Would 100% recommend go seeing them if you can.
Setlist for the show at the Moody Center
  • A Lucid Dream
  • Televised Mind
  • Nabokov
  • Big Shot
  • Roman Holiday
  • Boys in the Better Land
  • Jackie Down The Line
  • I Love You

Fontaines D.C. shared the stage with Arctic Monkeys at the Moody Center. They continue across the United States, Canada, and Mexico with the last stop at the Foro Sol in Mexico City, Mexico on October 7, 2023.

Fontaines D.C.
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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