U2 Elevation Tour 2001
Saturday 25th August 2001
Slane Castle
Red Hot Chilli Peppers

In reverse order:

Coldplay were very good, and a lot more active than I expected. I thought they were another "depressed band", which apparently they weren't.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers were excellent. This description applied to their fantastic moustaches as well. They played all the songs we wanted to hear, and during "Helicopter", managed to get the 80,000 people in Slane's natural amphitheatre to hold a piece of clothing over their heads and wave it around. An amazing sight.....really though.

Then U2 played their set, kicking in the four big screens above the stage. These screens performed a simple yet genius function: there was one for each member of the band. Which meant that if you wanted to look at Bono, you looked at the Bono screen (and so on). Camera angles would change on the four screens, and occasionally they would do pretty things, like all four screens closing on one part of a band member (Bono's coat, The Edge's hand, Adam's tapping foot, Larry's right hand). We were thankfully close enough to not have to watch the screens constantly, having arrived late but then just walked up to the front of the main arena. We were a few people back for a while, but once the pressure started we held fast and slowly slipped through to the supporting comfort of the padded barrier.

And so the band played on. They were happy it seemed, even though Bono had lost his father earlier that week. Part of the set was sort of "dedicated" in a very nice way. By the time night fell the arena behind me (containing the aforementioned 80,000 people) looked eerily spectacular. Occasionally the crowd lights would be illuminated and I'd hoist myself up to look back at the startling mass bathing in the scary white hue.

It all ended, and I was once again left with a the return to the mundane. We loitered to avoid the huge crowd trying to escape, still knowing a queue would be somewhat inevitable. As the arena emptied and we moved further uphill, the litter that covered the ground below transformed into a sheet of plastic winter snow. Later on I would be amazed by the pale mass of humans crossing the narrow Slane Bridge. We filed in and followed the thousands of people, a hundred busses, and countless stranded smoking cars.

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