I’ve wanted to go to a concert at the legendary
since REM played there in 95. I was nine years old, so obviously the folks were completely against it. I cried all day.
Yesterday was the thirtieth anniversary of Slane, and I went to my first gig there. Kings of Leon headlined, and its the first time myself and four of my best friends (and their boyfriends) all went to see the same band together.
The weather was surprisingly dry all day, but we all came prepared for the worst. Wellies and raincoats on, we got Dublin bus to Slane at half past three. They provided a great service, and drove closer to the main gates of the venue than the private busses did. This lessened the walk considerabley, but it still took us over 40 mins to get there. If I haven’t already mentioned, I’m doing the
Flora Women’s Mini Marathon
next Monday, so at least I was able to get a bit of training in!
Slane is a fantastic venue, on a hill overlooking the River Boyne. Even though I couldn’t see it, it just felt like an amazing area. I couldn’t help wishing I was born a couple of decades earlier and was old enough to have witnessed performances from artists like Queen, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen there. We did get to see Thin Lizzie, or the remaining members of the band perform. I’m not a huge fan to be honest, so it would be unfair of me to say they didn’t do much for me.
Elbow were fantastic, but much more suited to a smaller indoor venue, and too mellow to proceed a band like Kings of Leon.
When they did come on just before nine, Kings of Leon rocked for two hours, playing their longest set to date. They don’t stop long in between songs, but when he talked, Caleb was charming and seemed genuinely grateful to be playing such a historical gig. I could listen to his accent all day!! Apparently he’s not bad looking either!! They played lots of songs from their five albums, and thanked the artists who had played before them. Two of my friends put me on their shoulders at different points during the gig. The sound was so much better up there, I wish I was taller!
The performance finished with a fireworks display, during which we began the long walk back to the bus. Luckily getting home was straightforward enough, and we were in warm beds in Dublin before two A.M, unlike a friend who took the bus back home and didn’t get home until half 5.
Kings of Leon were great, but they are the kind of band I’d be happy enough to see only once. I would definitely return to Slane Castle for another gig though. I’m sure it was much better years ago, when Slane was the only big music gig happening in Ireland every year. Now there are just so many outdoor festivals to choose from. The setting and the venue is very unique, and definitely worth going to if you’ve never been.