It was time again for a Stones gig…this the band’s sole Irish show on their Bigger Bang tour. Not just any gig this though but they were playing at one of Ireland's most scenic concert venues, Slane Castle. A wonderful setting for a gig. I had previously been to see the Stereophonics headline here a few years before but got stuck at the back of the venue on that occasion as a result of the people I was with. No danger of that happening this time though as we made sure to get Gold Circle tickets and so get right to the front of the crowd.
I have stated before that Stones crowd can be an odd bunch. The average age is a high one to say the least but at the same time a lot of younger people are attracted to the gigs. Admittedly most of them just wear the Stones Lips Logo T-Shirts without actually owning any of their albums….very annoying to an old fan like myself.
One great / terrible thing about the Stones is that they always have Gold Circles at their gigs and certainly know how to charge for them. They are great because we just wandered straight to the front of the crowd and terrible because they make a lot of money out of us. As per normal at Stones gigs there are plenty of middle aged couples sipping wine out of cartons. One even had managed to bring in their own seat. Very rock n’ roll.
We managed to catch a bit of the Charlatans and I am always entertained by them. I have seen them numerous times down the years but every time as a support band. For every North Country Boy and One To Another there is a lot of samey stuff in their back catalogue but they do play well live. I would imagine that there was a lot of the crowd here that didn’t know who they were…which considering they themselves have been together for nearly two decades is saying something about the crowd here.
The Stones of course…well they are great. There is not a lot more I can say about them having seeing them so many times down the years, in fact this was the tenth time in seventeen years for me. First seeing them at Wembley Stadium in 1990 I was blown away then and I was blown away this time. Nothing changes in that respect.
Every song is a classic but they are more than a Greatest Hits band. They don’t just come on and go through the motions but always strive to do something bigger and better on each tour they have done. They somehow manage to make a large venue like this seem small (admittedly being near the front that helps) but the introduction of the B-Stage which made its way out into the crowd was a great way for people further back to see the band up close. Every song is a killer and my favourites are the usual ones but especially Sympathy For The Devil which blows me away every time. Sublime.
Maybe they haven’t made a ‘relevant’ album for twenty five years but I for one rate 1994’s Voodoo Lounge as one of the best and think their latter output has been somewhat overlooked. I hope they come back for one final hurrah….their 50th anniversary is 2012 and hopefully they will have one final blow out. Maybe Messers Wyman and Taylor will make an appearance but if not then Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood will be just fine.
Ticket Price: €116.50 (Gold Circle)