After 15 years, Cork band Fred called it a day on Saturday night, filling the Pavilion stage to overflowing with friends and musicians. A heaving crowd, there were more than a few tear-stained cheeks after Joe O’Leary, Jamie Hanrahan, Jamin O’Donovan and Justin O’Mahony and Jamin’s dad crowdsurfed on a wave of happiness. Two million people can’t be wrong, after all. [All pictures by Brid O’Donovan]

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Fred announced their split at the start of November: “After 15 years, 4 albums and many good times Fred the band have decided to call it a day. We have enjoyed our time making music together immensely but simply it’s now time for us to move on. We would like to thank all our fans, friends, families who have supported us over the years. We also offer a big thank you to all of the artists who we have had the pleasure of sharing stages with and the all of the venues who continue to promote live music.” In an interview with the Irish Examiner last week, Joe spoke quite plainly about the decision being a democratic one, though not an idea instigated by him: “Personally I’d like to keep rocking. The band is a democracy and a decision has been made… It’s like your friends telling you they don’t want to be your friends anymore. What can you do? You have to accept it.” The atmosphere in the Pavilion on Saturday is never anything less than celebratory, however, as the band run through four albums, a rotating cast of characters and three chords and the truth.

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Founding members Emmet Christie and Liam O’Connor appear for some early stuff such as the wonky ‘Emmett’s On Fire’. Eibhlín O’Gorman takes to the keys, Jamin’s dad arrives, jazz flute in hand, and you get a sense of the kind of night this is, a celebration of a few friends making music and having the time of their lives – and soundtracking our lives. Five-ninths of the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra help out on a thrilling version of ‘The Lights’ and A=ha’s ‘Take On Me’; Ian Whitty and band come onstage for a few, the Frank & Walters and Fred join forces for a raucous ‘After All’; Niall Connolly rouses the crowd for the second half; and that’s not even the whole host of people onstage during a raucous, Bruce Springsteen-style three-hour(ish) set.

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Fred meant a lot to most of the people who came for their last hurrah – and surely won over the others brought along by friends for their first experience of a band who, from 1998 to 2013, were never less than fun, never anything but a wonderful pop band. They soundtracked my college years and summers, helped me forge close friendships that still bind and so much more. And they’re the nicest group of people you could ever meet. Joe never got teary on Saturday night. He didn’t have to; the songs and the stories told throughout the night were more than enough. It was an amazing night, a fantastic gig and a sensational way to bow out.

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Setlist:
1. ‘The Life Behind’
2. ‘If Not Now, When’
3. ‘Somewhere Else’
4. ‘The Lights’
5. ‘Take On Me’
6. ‘Emmett’s On Fire’
7. ‘The Wondering Geologist’
8. ’30 Years’
9. ‘Moonjuice’
10. ‘Eleven’
11. ‘Villains’
12. ‘Fear’
13. ‘Prettiest Dress’
14. ‘We Are The City Now’
15. ‘Trial By Fire’
16. ‘After All’
17. ‘Four Chords’
18. ‘Summer’s Coming’
19. ‘Jesus Is Coming’
20. ‘Fears & Remedies’
21. ‘Keep Me Clear’
22. ‘Good One’
23. ‘Skyscrapers’
24. ‘Stereoscope’
25. ‘The Parsnip Song’
26. ‘Running’
27. ‘The Capital Song’

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