We haven't been short of gigs so far this year, but March might be the most eclectic month yet.
With the St. Patrick's Festival offering some special one-off gigs, a number of exciting touring artists hitting Irish shores and the Irish Album of the Year award being handed out, there's no reason to stay at home this month.
1. CHOICE MUSIC PRIZE – Vicar Street | Thursday, March 5th
The best thing about the annual Choice Music Prize is the fact that it's a tasting menu for what's going on in Irish music now. Every course might not suit your palate, but that's alright – the next one will be up soon. Ten acts will compete for the Irish Album of the Year 2019 prize; seven will perform live on the night (Daithi, Fontaines DC, Jafaris, Junior Brother, Maija Sofia, Mick Flannery and Sorcha Richardson).
2. LEWIS CAPALDI - 3Arena | Sunday, March 8th & Monday, March 9th
He's one of the biggest hits in music right now, and that's saying nothing of his banter. The 'Someone You Loved' singer brings his lovelorn paeans to the 3Arena for two nights, before he returns over the summer for a number of big outdoor shows.
3. HALSEY – 3Arena | Tuesday, March 10th
The electropop singer just released her third album 'Manic' – expect lots of 'hands in the air' moments at this gig as she runs through hits like 'Without Me' and 'Closer'.
4. ANVIL – Voodoo, Dublin | Thursday, March 12th
Whaddya mean, 'who are Anvil?' If you've never seen the 2008 rockumentary – which saw the Canadian band being dubbed 'the real-life Spinal Tap' – you're missing out. With over four decades' experience under their belts, the metal stalwarts have been cited as influential on everyone from Megadeth to Metallica. Above all else, they're a a lot of fun.
5. COUNTRY2COUNTRY – 3Arena | Friday, March 13th – Sunday, March 15th
And now for something completely different... Grab your spurs and stetsons, because the Country2Country roadshow is rolling into town once again with a host of big names in tow. Darius Rucker, Luke Combs and Eric Church are the three headliners, with the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show, Brett Young, Tanya Tucker and The Cadillac Three rounding out the line-up.
6. GRUFF RHYS & RICHARD EGAN – Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin | Friday, March 13th
You may have seen both of these artists in the past, but you've never seen them in Christchurch Cathedral. Super Furry Animals frontman (and solo artist in his own right) Gruff Rhys and Richard Egan (aka Jape) will explore the musical lands of Ireland and Wales as part of the St. Patrick's Festival. This'll be a good one.
7. ANNIE MAC & GUESTS – Guinness Storehouse | Saturday, March 14th
Another very special gig running on the St. Patrick's Festival programme, this one sees Irish DJ star and general sound head Annie Mac curate and headline a line-up featuring some very exciting Irish stars from the hip-hop and r'n'b worls.. She'll be joined by Limerick rapper/poet Denise Chaila, r'n'b singer Soule, rapper Kojaque and other guests playing the amazing Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse.
8. THE WHO – 3Arena | Wednesday, March 18th
If you like your classic rock n' roll, this is the gig for you. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey released their 12th studio album in December and are still going strong after over 50 years together (alright, there may have been a few splits and falling-outs over that time). Expect to hear some big hits as well as a smattering of new tunes.
9. MICK FLANNERY - Vicar Street | Friday, March 20th
Cork's finest released what was possibly his finest album to date last year, so this gig should be very special indeed. If you've seen Mick Flannery in the past, you'll be aware that his magnetic stage presence and gruff voice are only part of his charm: there's a certain magic to his songs that need to be heard live to be fully enjoyed.
10. ELBOW – 3Arena | Saturday, March 28th
Guy Garvey and co. are always welcomed to Ireland with open arms, and their 3Arena gig at the end of the month will be no exception. This time, the Mancunians have a stellar new album Giants of All Sizes' to give a run-through – but of course, there'll be some old favourites in the mix, too.