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Conor O’Brien leads the way as Ireland’s Villagers deliver two nights of powerful songwriting in SF

VillagersPhotos by Victoria Smith // Written by Emmanuel Castro //

Villagers //
Swedish American Hall & The Fillmore – San Francisco
October 3rd & 4th, 2015 //

Last weekend, Villagers, an indie-folk project out of Dublin, Ireland, from sonic mastermind Conor O’Brien, reminded SF what powerful songwriting can be.

Starting on Saturday night, the band took a break from their tour with Paul Weller and braved it alone for their first-ever headlining show in SF at the Swedish American Hall. The all-seated venue was the optimal environment to wrap oneself in O’Brien’s resonant voice.

Villagers

Touring as a stripped-down three-piece featuring welsh virtuosos Gwion Llewelyn (drums, trumpet, vocals) and Mali Llywelyn (keyboard, piano, vocals), the band shuffled through top-drawer tracks from its three albums, harmonizing like a finger ringing around a crystal glass — perfection. The wide-eyed audience was then hit with “Becoming a Jackal”, where full crowd participation harmonizing was required, and they obliged creating an environment where no drugs were required to feel the high.

The next night, the band rejoined Paul Weller at The Fillmore. This was O’Brien’s chance to take the momentum from the previous evening and conquer a new fan base. Although the set was shorter, it was delivered with the same intensity, and the new crowd was captivated by the perfect harmonies the trio manifests.

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