Third Slane gig for me coming after the Stereophonics in 2002 and the Rolling Stones in 2007. The line up today included The Blizzards, Glasvegas and Kasabian none of which we made it down to see (although I do like all three). A hangover had something to do with that but also the awareness that it would be a long day surrounded by a lot of people…old age setting in. We made sure that we were there for the main support act though; they were one not to be missed.
Firstly let me start off by saying that it was always going to be hard for us today. Turning up in time to see the mighty Prodigy was great but walking in that late, into the large arena, meant that the first thing to notice was the amount of alcohol that had been drunk. Now I ain’t a square, I enjoy a drink but there were literally thousands of pissed teenagers everywhere. This was especially true at the back where we had to make do with standing. Yes it was our own fault for arriving later in the day but seriously was anyone actually watching the stage up here? It was quite depressing trying to watch the Prodigy who even from afar we could see were excellent, be ignored by so many dicks at the back. They seemed too interested in the next drink, too interested in shouting and screaming at nothing in particular. Ok maybe they weren’t Prodigy fans and, maybe they were waiting for the main event. Fair enough I have ignored many a support band in my time but this was bordering on the ignorant. Or maybe it was grumpy old man syndrome coming back for me…but I don’t think so…Ok I would wait for Oasis to come on stage; surely it would be better then.
Getting to the front can be quite difficult at Slane. If you can get to the halfway point then it can be a lot easier to move forward but getting to that midway point is the hard bit. In truth we had very little motivation to do so. Having plumped for Gold Circle tickets two years earlier for the Rolling Stones we had hoped for something similar for this gig. However the average Stones and the average Oasis fan’s age profile is quite different and so this gig was going to be a free for all. Great as far as not ripping the fans off point of view but not so great for the older fan who quite like the ease of front stage access you can get with Gold Circle tickets. Today the hassle of trying to move outweighed the hassle of staying were we were surrounded by amoebas.
Anyway The Prodigy were superb. One plus point of being so far back was being able to see the sea of people jump as the group playedSmack My Bitch Up, Firestarter, Breathe and the other ten songs that I really don’t have a clue what they were called. I would imagine I am not typical of their fan base but they are highly entertaining.
The last time I had seen Oasis I had been somewhat disappointed. On that occasion in 2002 they had seemed to go through the motions. Tonight I hoped for better. While talking about this gig you have to keep in mind where we were stood, there is no getting away from the fact that being at the back of a large crowd doesn’t help for enjoyment. As a result opening songs Rock n’ Roll Star, Lyla, Shock Of Lightning, Cigarettes and Alcohol, and Roll With It, although good were not as rousing as they should have been. Instead it is the sing-a-long Oasis tunes that hit the mark. The Masterplan, Half The World, Wonderwall and Live Forever are huge. Slower songs weirdly working better than the big rock numbers for us at the back…well apart from the drunk fucks striking again by singing out of tune to Wonderwall, but I’ll let them off for that.
The encore made up for some of my disappointment. Don’t Look Back In Anger, Champagne Supernova and I Am The Walrus were all present and correct and really were superb. A great way to finish although there were plenty that left before that choosing instead to beat the traffic and get away early……I will NEVER understand that. Overall then a good gig let down by our position in the crowd and the people around us.
One other low point about the gigs in Slane are the amount of time it takes to leave the venue. It can be a fair walk to the car / bus. On this occasion I was driving and after finally getting to our manky old car we queued up with the hundreds of other cars and began to crawl through the small Slane town and out on to the main roads. While making our way through the thousands of fans walking to their buses the back door opened and in popped a random Oasis fan…a teenage random Oasis fan…a drunk teenage random Oasis fan… Trust me when I say that I really didn’t have many options to throw him out. In the spirit of kindness I agreed to drop him up further along near the buses (he would have been quicker walking in truth). It was only when we got there that he told us he didn’t have a bus ticket. Asking us to drive a bit further along as he thought some of his mates were further up he decided that we were going the wrong way (we weren’t) and he started to demand that we turn around and go back to the buses (no that wasn’t going to happen). I pulled over and he got out on to the dark roads and started walking back to the buses. I put my foot down and floored it out of there before any other random fans jumped in.
Ticket Price: €76.50