The Cranberries – Terminal 5 – May 4, 2012
Back in the magical 1990s, the heyday of alternative-rock radio and MTV-heralded music videos, Ireland’s the Cranberries were one of the decade’s greatest successes, thanks in part to singer Delores O’Riorden’s lilting, ethereal voice and immensely catchy hits, like “Dreams” and “Linger,” powerful, emotive songs that were sweet but without a degree of sappiness. A constant string of hits sustained them through the millennium, but as times changed and their popularity waned, the band went on hiatus. The good news, of course, is that the newly reunited Cranberries’ now have a sixth studio album, Roses, and a reunion tour that on Friday night brought them to a sold-out Terminal 5, where fans were rewarded for the wait with a fully enjoyable, energetic and often nostalgic evening of music.
With a jet black pixie cut and shimmering silver minidress, O’Riorden danced, shimmied and high-kicked her way through fast-paced songs like “Waltzing Back,” “I Can’t Be with You,” “Desperate Andy” and “Ridiculous Thoughts.” The intensity conjured didn’t falter on the bands’ more introspective songs like “Just My Imagination,” “Free to Decide,” “Ode to My Family” and “Conduct” (the lovely, heartbreaking opening track from Roses) as the audience swayed and sang along with O’Riorden.
For fans who remember Cranberries’ concerts of their youth, or for those who discovered their music in karaoke bars or used-CD shops long after the group disbanded, there was a special feeling of collective amazement and disbelief as the band performed, sounding as polished and tight as they had in 1995. But just when you lost yourself in the strobe lights and fanfare of the major hit “Zombie,” out came the camera phones, snapping us back to 2012 and reminding us that times have in fact changed—despite the Cranberries’ impeccable ability to capture the sound of the past. —Alena Kastin