Live Review: Daði Freyr @ 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin – June 3rd 2022

Daði Freyr, Icelandic underdog of Eurovision renown, took Dublin by storm with a two night engagement. The baby faced baritone crooner became a viral sensation with his breakout hit “Think About Things” in 2020, and cemented himself in hearts and minds of Europe and beyond with his performance of “10 Years” in a much awaited return to live events the following year. From the 8-bit jumper iterations to the connecting circular keytars, Daði and co gave us the total retro-nerdy package in a franchise experiencing a resounding revival amongst the younger generations. It was a classic case of the right place at the right time. 

While twelve points are nice, there’s no doubt that any artist would want to rise above the fifteen minute effect of a music contest. Daði’s song may have failed to clinch the win, but he may have pulled off an even more impressive feat: sticking around! Shedding the bright and colourful trappings (but doubling down on the fun) Daði Freyr has proved his staying power, putting out new binge-worthy singles and embarking on major touring across the UK & Europe this month and the ‘Fabulous, Wonderful & Nice Tour’ in North America later this year. There is so much more to the indie pop maverick than a catchy beat and dance craze choreography, as he has set off to show the world with his stripped back ensemble. Real heart and songwriting ability lies below the surface, as was proved at this evening’s performance.

Liverpool-based newcomer Mickey Callisto opened up the show decisively with “This Is The Real World”, a song about over privileged students who don’t know what they’ve got. The man came in hot with revved up, over the top synth and all the confident flair of your local karaoke joint’s star kid. The cheesy machismo in his energetic dance moves thrashing in a powder blue jumpsuit and his unflinching eye contact during his first tune embodied the very definition of what a warm up act should be. I doubt the harshest critic in the crowd failed to crack a smile at the man’s beaty exertions across every inch of the front stage. 

Tireless showman, Mickey Callisto performing at 3Olympia Dublin, Friday 3rd June 2022.

Melting into an 80s inspired power ballad, I detected a minor cult following in the crowd as lads sang along to the emotional flurrying of the tune. Mickey’s unflinching bravado underpinned with a deep flowing sense of comedic timing surely picked up a few more fans this evening. Treating us to his first single “Destructive Love” Callisto beamed pure joy and unbridled confidence as he hammered the funky keys, air thrusting, making love to the keyboard. His strutting and posing stance possessed by the ghost of Freddy Mercury, to say nothing of his eerily familiar operatic vocals. 

Callisto clearly lives for live performance and was in his happy place during his short set, whipping the crowd up with conducting gestures, model poses and pouts, doing push-ups and spanking his butt. Reinforcing his overall vibe of being unapologetically you and taking no prisoners, he launched into unreleased track “Welcome to Homospace” (yes, you heard that right) an instant anthem that got the whole crowd singing along in the space of 3 minutes. His final ballad had phones waving in the air and going wild–Mickey could teach a masterclass on how to achieve complete audience participation in a room of total strangers.

Mickey Callisto performing at 3Olympia Dublin, Friday 3rd June 2022.

You would be hard-pressed to find a night out more infused with happiness than this gig, I found myself thinking after the opener’s joyous expression, and knowing how much Daði Freyr music is equally such a stronghold for positivity and light on the scene. The room was electric as he took to the stage with his two bandmates, percussionist Ylva Øyen and guitarist Pétur Karl. Having since forked off from his Eurovision posse consisting of his beloved wife Árný Fjóla, sister and close friends Daði has been pushing the boundaries of perfecting the pop song into play with other sounds. The trio took their stance at a sleek set up of interconnected drum machines, percussive instruments, synthesizers and other instruments waiting in the wings. 

Daði Freyr and his band take the stage at 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin Friday 3rd June 2022.

Daði wasted no time bringing the love to the ornate auditorium, saying “Hi” and “Hello” in his signature baritone as he addressed everyone from the boxes to the upper tiers. Clearly delighted to find himself in Dublin, he joked that “splitting the G” on a pint of Guinness was a tradition when he plays a gig in Ireland (having only played here once before yesterday night) as he took a hefty swig on his beer. “This is what it’s all about tonight. There will be some music, but mostly G-splitting,” he joked in his charming accent before launching into a humble and sincere “Thank You”, the perfect way to start the show for the big-hearted musician. His silky smooth voice rang out beautifully in the building bop with a hip swivel. 

Making fast friends with the crowd with good-natured goofball humour, Daði treated us to his unique brand of stage banter between each song, a candid sort of stream of consciousness. This sense of humour bled through to songs like “Shut Up” in which he singled out audience members by pointing at them and staring unflinchingly as he performed the pastiche of telling them to shut up repeatedly to their face. Just to be sure everyone was in on the joke, he explained that the song was about telling the voices in your head to shut up in moments of self-doubt.

His unique POV drips from his persona into his songs, all the more exemplified by tracks like “Where We Wanna Be”, inspired by surviving the isolation of the first covid lockdown. Rounded out by the live drumming and scrubbing Daft Punk-style guitaring of in-the-pocket guitarist Karl who grooved energetically in his skinny jeans throughout. Peppering in tunes throughout the setlist in their native Icelandic from earlier days, the band transcended any language barriers with their funky lines and complexly layered interludes. Daði Freyr is uncompromising in his commitment to quirk, from unisonly wielded shakers, to free-wheeling scatting and lank limbs flailing, but had grown with this lineup into a well rounded act. The musician proved his mettle on stage as a multi-instrumentalist, picking up the bass for some song and showing a commanding prowess of his various synthesizers, piecing everything together live on the spot (a far-cry from Eurovision standards!)

Pétur Karl playing onstage with Daði Freyr at 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin on Friday 3rd June 2022

Amidst a stream of cool electric originals, Daði announced that if we were interested in “going bananas” at any point during the evening that this next song would be the chance to do so. The last thing I expected to hear was a turbo-charged rendition of the scourge of the wedding circuit, the Chicken Dance! His digital arrangement of the corny polka classic was a bizarre banger, familiar yet uncanny enough to take down everyone’s guard, creepily drawing out organ strains on the verse and jumping to hyperspeed in the hand-clapping chorus. If this wasn’t enough, the group treated us to another synthed up version of an iconic classic in it’s own rights, Smashmouth’s “All Star” during which the crowd was absolutely bursting. Between this and his little games with the audience, getting them to repeat increasingly stranger sounds and words as the night went on, you could tell he was having just as much fun as we were.

The good vibes just kept on rolling as some of his bigger songs came out in the latter part of the show. Ylva Øyen, who had been jumping up and down smashing drums and cymbals on beat all night long, stepped out from behind the rig to beautifully belt feelgood bop “Feel the Love”, needlessly nervous to take her moment in the spotlight. The fun calypso rhythm of “Sabada” rang through with its warming message of inclusivity as rainbow colours flashed on the tubular lighting rig and Daði posed and pouted across the front of the stage, reaching out to fans in the front row. The beyond-catchy “10 Years”, a sweet homage to his relationship with his wife, had the whole crowd belting, toe-tapping and bopping in unison.

Ylva Øyen performing with Daði Freyr at 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin on Friday 3rd June 2022

Wrapping up the set was, of course, the one we’d all been waiting for. Daði played up the moment, prolonging the opening tone to “Think About Things” excruciatingly, blasting the chord on and off teasingly before launching into that deep sultry intro. The song took on a whole meaning for me when I only just now figured out that it was written for his newborn daughter and his response to becoming a dad, an incredibly adorable revelation that only endeared me further to the budding star. It was wonderful to hear technically excellent pop tune performed live by the group, an earworm that will live in infamy. The evening closed with a 2-song encore, led by a Boyzone cover. The crowd went wild for the Dublin-born boyband’s tune, and the thoughtful singer seems to be performing a new cover on each night of his tour to cater to local hometown heroes. The group concluded with upbeat “Endurtaka Mig”, which saw Ylva Øyen splitting speedy Icelandic verses. This served as a fitting finale to a night of positivity, humour and fantastically fun music that we didn’t want to end!

Set List

Thank You
Where We Wanna Be
Skiptir Ekki Máli
Shut Up
Kemur Þér Ekko Vló
Clear My Head
Fugladansinn
Feel The Love
Næsta Skref
10 Years
Sabada
All Star (Smash Mouth Cover)
Somebody Else Now
Think About Things

No Matter What (Boyzone Cover)
Endurtaka Mig

Review by Krysten Maier, photography by Michael Lockheart © 2022


Daði Freyr continues his UK tour this month, with North American dates lined up for September-October 2022 and festival/headline dates around Europe this summer.

Tickets are available from tour.dadifreyr.com

JUN 7, 2022

University Student Union

Newcastle, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 8, 2022

SWG3

Glasgow, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 10, 2022

Academy 2

Manchester, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 11, 2022

Stylus

Leeds, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 12, 2022

Rescue Rooms

Nottingham, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 14, 2022

O2 Academy

Bristol, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 15, 2022

Concorde 2

Brighton, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 16, 2022

Roundhouse

London, UK

SOLD OUT

JUN 18, 2022

Over Oslo Festival

Oslo, Norway

TICKETS

JUL 15, 2022

G! Festival

Syðrugøta, Faroe Islands

TICKETS

JUL 22, 2022

Skwer Play

Poznań, Poland

TICKETS

JUL 23, 2022

Rakvere Funk Festival

Rakvere, Estonia

TICKETS

JUL 25, 2022

Suedbruecke

Cologne, Germany

TICKETS

JUL 26, 2022

Kultursommer Oldenburg

Oldenburg, Germany

TICKETS

JUL 27, 2022

Kulturzelt Kassel

Kassel, Germany

TICKETS

JUL 29, 2022

Indie22 Festival

Cork, Ireland

TICKETS

JUL 30, 2022

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

Inverness, UK

TICKETS

AUG 4, 2022

Appletree Garden Festival

Diepholz, Germany

TICKETS

AUG 5, 2022

Smukfest Festival

Skanderborg, Denmark

TICKETS

AUG 6, 2022

Dranouter Festival

Dranouter, Belgium

TICKETS

AUG 21, 2022

Lowlands Festival

Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

TICKETS

SEP 17, 2022

Theatre of Living Arts

Philadelphia, PA

TICKETS

SEP 18, 2022

9:30 Club

Washington, D.C.

TICKETS

SEP 21, 2022

Irving Plaza

New York, NY

TICKETS

SEP 23, 2022

Paradise Rock Club

Boston, MA

TICKETS

SEP 24, 2022

Théâtre Corona

Montréal, Canada

TICKETS

SEP 26, 2022

The Phoenix Concert Theatre

Toronto, Canada

TICKETS

SEP 28, 2022

The Majestic Theatre

Detroit, MI

TICKETS

SEP 29, 2022

House of Blues Chicago

Chicago, IL

TICKETS

OCT 1, 2022

First Avenue

Minneapolis, MN

TICKETS

OCT 4, 2022

Summit

Denver, CO

TICKETS

OCT 5, 2022

The Depot

Salt Lake City, UT

TICKETS

OCT 7, 2022

The Showbox

Seattle, WA

TICKETS

OCT 8, 2022

Wonder Ballroom

Portland, OR

TICKETS

OCT 11, 2022

The Regency Ballroom

San Francisco, CA

TICKETS

OCT 13, 2022

The Fonda Theatre

Los Angeles, CA

TICKETS

  1. Great photos Mike! And great review Krysten…what a great time you must have had! I had to listen right away to what you were describing. Great work both of you!

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