I bought two tickets early. Figured (like a million other people) I could sell the spare ticket if I had to. Not the case. This was Radiohead with a ticket surplus. Perhaps it was the Malahide Castle Factor. An semi-unknown venue. It turned out to be very nice.
Wasn't in the mood when the time came. Tried to lose both tickets but no-one cared. So we went. It turned out fine. A nice day. A train to Malahide. A drive to the beach at Booterstown. Drunk people getting on at Connolly. People talking too loud. Climbing over station railings. Watching men urinating against walls
We strolled through Malahide and all the way to the stage. We walked through dark trees with firm earth paths, rough ground around, gaps, bits of sun, even and constant shadow. It was a nice walk. Our tickets were eventually checked. We broke into the open area when the field sloped down to the stage. Lots of beer tents. Ice-cream. Lots of people sitting around. It was a nice evening. Everything, very relaxed.
We had lost Nicell. We sat down. Played with the german binoculars, looking at the distant stage, the cigarette smoke rising from the crowd. Phil walked by. We went with him to meet Nicell again. A few other folks. We stood around a little then moved forward. Everyone else stopped in front of the sound tent. We hung around by the rail behind it. There was a clear line of sight to the centre mic. Sound was perfect (duh, the sound tent). Hung around, listened to the band, looked in detail with the binoculars, watched planes pull skywards behind the stage. It was a peaceful gig with blue air, a setting sun, twilight, a lit stage, deep mid-summer dusk.
The venue aside, Radiohead did good work. The view through the binoculars was strange. Crystal clear to their eyes, but strange. I felt self conscious, but they were nasty army binoculars - small and evil. This helped. We watched the band play. Everyone looked well, though perhaps spoiled of their youth. Greenwood was mostly obscured by the sound tent, but he wandered across every now and again. They played, smiled at the crowd. Emma pointed out that when they looked at the crowd, they appeared to be looking directly at us. This was true.
We were bad - we left shortly after the encore started. Years of living in Dublin told us not to trust the public transport system. We hurried away when we felt the time was right. The band became quieter and quieter. Outside the park they had drifted away. They were gone by the train. We sat down. The train waited a little, then left.
It turned out we were right. We missed train hell. But we had a good night. Occasionally missing the end of concerts is interesting. The same happened at Interpol
(for worse reasons) and the Fun Lovin' Criminals
(for better reasons).