The Eternal Struggles of a Gig-goer

There was a lot of excitement recently following the announcement of Metallica‘s return to Ireland for the first time in over ten years. None of the excitement was mine I admit, as it’s a band I haven’t paid much heed to since the 90s. I did see them once, in 1999, and they were excellent live. Having said that, I was present when they headlined the main stage at Donington 2006, but I was at another stage being awestruck by Killing Joke at the time. I haven’t been pushed about seeing Metallica for quite a while, especially considering the venue.

Slane Castle is marketed as one of music’s ‘iconic‘ venues, though in reality it is a badly laid-out, badly organised, overpriced, kip. I have been there twice, and have little intention of ever returning. While the performances I saw were excellent (REM and Oasis in 1995, and U2 in 2001), getting to and from the venue was a shambles on both occasions. Having subsequently been to many festivals abroad, I have realised that such big outdoor events in Ireland are best avoided.

My interest was piqued, however, when the support band was announced. I’ve been waiting for years for Ghost (pictured) to finally play Ireland (have seen them in Manchester, Birmingham, and Eindhoven on the last three tours respectively), and when they finally announced that they are coming, it is to feckin Slane. Nevertheless, it was after they announced that I actually started to considering going. I’m sure Metallica still put on a great show, and I know that Ghost have a spectacularly theatrical stage presence.

Then the plot thickened, as the The Cure tweeted ‘save the date’ regarding a Dublin gig, on the same day as the already announced Ghost (with special guests Metallica) gig. Now, The Cure have been on my bucket list of bands for decades now, and somehow I am yet to see them live. So that was my mind made up. I was going to The Cure, and thankfully managed to beat the bots and get my ticket when they went on sale last week. It sold out in minutes, and tickets were of course up on viagogo for extortionate prices immediately. At time of writing, the lowest price the touts are asked for is €339, for a ticket of face value €70. I hope whoever the touts are die roaring.

So what of Ghost? Well, I decided to make a holiday of it, and so rather than the Slane Castle gig, I’ll be off to Zürich to catch the tour there. No wonder I find it hard to save. It’s tough being a music fan. But that’s what life is for, right? Spending our meagre pennies on temporary escapes from the burdensomeness of life, from worrying about everything else in the world, from screaming and shaking our fists at the sky, from the frustration of watching the world go down the toilet.

We all need our escape, and courtesy of touring bands, I get my fix as much as possible. Next up: Idles‘ sold-out gig on Monday in The Button Factory. Can’t fucking wait.

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