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Monday, June 22, 2009
Rocking Nineties Prevailed at Oasis Gig in Slane Castle
Castle rocks in throwback to a 1990s teenage disco
IF YOU closed your eyes at Slane Castle, you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in the mid-Nineties.
If you opened them again -- assuming you hadn't fallen as you negotiated the famous hill unsighted -- you could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived at a rather large teenage disco.
The 'yoof' element descended on Slane on Saturday in their thousands, a testament to the longevity of headliners Oasis and support act The Prodigy, both of whom were in their pomp over a decade ago.
In truth, it was a welcome antidote to the last Slane, when the Rolling Stones played to a mostly middle-aged crowd who were content to stand back, shielded from the rain in their wax jackets, and let the concert wash over them.
"I can safely say that this has been the best day of my life," opined one boozed-up teen to no one in particular as he left the venue. Whether he was of the same opinion after surviving a four-hour bus trek home is another matter.
"Slane Castle, you've been f****** biblical," said Liam Gallagher as the band reached their final few tunes. And it was hard not to be impressed, when you turned from the stage, with the River Boyne behind it, and looked up the hill to see 80,000 people bathed in purple light belting out 'Champagne Supernova'.
Almost as biblical were the queues for the two beer stands -- and when you got there, you were allowed only two pints, much to the chagrin of many punters.
"Excuse me, can I have ice in my drink," asked one punter. "Eh, no love, this is Slane," came the reply. Enough said.
The Gallagher family, including mam Peggy, were out in force having travelled over en masse from Manchester. Slane is near Duleek, where the family have connections.
"It's massive, you've got to be here, haven't ya?" said older brother Paul, fresh from DJing in Dublin the night before. Also at the concert were former Irish soccer star Gary Kelly, Manchester United and Ireland's John O'Shea, as well as Manchester City's Stephen Ireland.
Dress code in the VIP area was suitably Nineties -- it was all sneakers, scruffy jeans and Gallagher-style hair. One exception was the ubiquitous Gerald Kean, who sported a 'Planet Hollywood' baseball jacket. While the rest of us were happy to travel back to the Nineties with Oasis, Mr Kean seemed intent on heading as far back as the Fifties.
A Jerry Lee Lewis extravaganza next year perhaps?
- Fiach Kelly
Oasis, the one-time kings of Britpop, rolled back the years in front of 80,000 ecstatic fans on the banks of the Boyne.
Fourteen years after they last played Slane Castle, the Gallagher Brothers are back at the top — and it was a champagne supernova performance that wowed the huge crowd on Saturday.
That promised heat wave never did come but the kings of Mancunian cool turned up the heat from the first song.
Noel Gallagher admitted before the gig that his memories of the last time they visited Lord Henry Mount Charles's back garden were somewhat hazy.
But it must have all come back to him as he looked down at the huge crowd packed into the natural amphitheatre of one of the world's truly great rock venues.
And for the Gallagher brothers it was very much a family affair, with a huge contingent of the extended clan given VIP access for a gig that became something of a homecoming for a band still proud of their Mayo roots.
Kicking off with Rock ‘N’ Roll Star, the hill erupted as the British pop legends banged out some of their newest hits, such as Lyla and Shock of the Lightning, before delighting the crowd with classics including Roll With It, Wonderwall and their massive smash hit anthem Don't Look Back In Anger.
The united voice of thousands of the band's die-hard followers could be heard for miles around the castle as the iconic Manchester outfit rocked it up.
Back at the VIP garden party, scores of the brothers' extended family lapped up the atmosphere at a gig that is regarded as the first big date of the summer.
They could be seen living it up with other VIP guests in the cocktail bar, champagne room and Irish whiskey tent. Manchester City star Stephen Ireland was also on the list to party the night away alongside former Irish international footballer Gary Kelly.
Earlier, high-profile warm-up acts, including The Prodigy and Kasabian, entertained the crowd during the afternoon, as well as Mullingar band The Blizzards, who put on a high-energy set that was full of verve.
That kept the fans more than happy but there was no doubt who the real stars were.
With a whopping 70 million records sold worldwide, the crowd were left in no doubt that they were in the presence of a band that had shaped a generation.
This stadium tour sees the group play to their biggest audiences yet but it's doubtful they will ever forget their second visit to Slane. It was a triumph.
via L4e Sources: independent.ie & belfasttelegraph.co.uk
via L4e / independent.ie
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