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The Rise of the Rockstars of a Generation

By Dani McKenzie | 12 April 2023

Inhaler on their 2023 North American tour

On March 13 and 14, Inhaler—the four-piece hailing from Dublin—played to two sold out crowds at The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. Taking the road directly after the release of their spectacular second album Cuts & Bruises, Inhaler made their way to D.C. less than a month later on their 2023 North American tour.

Inhaler—made up of Elijah Hewson on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Robert Keating on bass guitar and backing vocals, Josh Jenkinson on lead guitar, and Ryan McMahon on drums—is without a doubt one of the most exciting bands on the scene. Experiencing them live gives every reason why.

With fans beginning to line up at about 4 a.m., in freezing weather on the streets of D.C., the energy for this concert was set long before Inhaler's bright green tour bus pulled up at The 9:30 Club. The show opened with their first single off Cuts & Bruises, "These Are The Days," a rocking and hopeful anthem that makes you feel like you're part of the band. They set the energy high and kept it that way from start to finish. From the groove of songs like "Totally" and "Just To Keep You Satisfied," to the uniquely Inhaler-esque "My Honest Face" and "Dublin in Ecstasy," and everything in between, Inhaler give absolutely everything in their concerts keeping the crowd captivated for the entirety of their set.

With genuine and effortless crowd engagement, the audience hanging on to every single note and lyric, and the band members themselves beaming with talent and passion, I truly can't name many concerts I have been to that could top my experience at Inhaler's gigs. Though the set was fairly fast, it was filled with gems of their discography (to my dismay, they sacrificed a few fan favorites like "When I Have Her On My Mind," "Perfect Storm," and the band's classic "Ice Cream Sundae"). Switching out about two songs per night, the band have been changing up the set a tad throughout the tour. The D.C. tour stop got to hear "The Things I Do," "We Have to Move On," "Now You Got Me," and "So Far So Good" from the rotated songs.

A few slightly unhinged reflections on the concerts courtesy of my Inhaler-loving brain:

  • Screaming the chorus of "My King Will Be Kind" with a room full of people may be one of the most euphoric experiences of my life (iykyk).

  • Hearing the opening guitar for "My Honest Face" live only further solidified my theory that it could actually bring me back from the dead.

  • If I could tattoo the experience of "Dublin In Ecstasy" live into my brain, I absolutely would.

  • I lost count of the amount of times I said "OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG."

  • Robert Keating's stare is LETHAL and his backing vocals are a blessing.

  • Josh Jenkinson is one of the coolest lead guitarists of our time.

  • Ryan McMahon is a BEAST and insanely stylish.

  • Elijah Hewson is making his way up the ranks of iconic frontmen and as he absolutely should.

To put it simply: they're rockstars, your honor. From the second they take the stage to the ringing in our ears and blinding lights the second they walk off, I don't think Inhaler leaves a doubt in anyone's minds that they belong onstage, making music together. You can feel, like the static in the air before a thunderstorm, that this band is only beginning to blow up. They're only going to get more incredible and I can't wait to watch and support them through the many incredible eras I am sure they will have in their career.

Here's to the rising rockstars of our generation: Inhaler.


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