heard about it. Since it had gone from invalidated rumor to much-awaited
certainty, everyone had heard... everyone had followed the story.
Historic Slane Castle sitting mossy and gorgeous in the green fields
just north of Dublin is as much a rock and roll landmark as it is
architectural... or historical.. or everything else old buildings
are. Springsteen had played there. So had Dylan. And every year
a new gaggle of pop and rock's luminaries turned Slane Castle into
an all-day festival, famous the world over.
U2 hadn't played
Slane since 1984, when they had appeared on stage the same year
Dylan played. They had gone on and become one of the biggest, most
influential bands in history and had not visited the venue since.
It had been
discussed more than a year before the official announcement. Would
U2 finally play Slane? For the very first time headlining at the
biggest concert, in the most famous venue in their home country.
Would it happen or was it only a dream, a lie refusing to come true?
But then the
news broke. In the yearly Slane festival, 2001 would be a special
year. U2 would headline. Ireland's biggest band at Ireland's biggest
Since I had
heard the whisper of the possibility, I knew. I knew I wanted to
be there for that. I knew I had to.
A long time
went by. I was working and planning my summer for 2001. Maybe it
was silly, but I was taking it as a given. I'd be at Slane.
The new album
was released and it was wonderful. Then, the world's best took to
the road again and that's when the sick shock of reality finally
sunk in. North American tickets to the band's concerts were going
so fast, most dates were sold out before I even knew they had gone
on sale. Getting a ticket to a hometown venue would take more work
than I'd imagined. So how in the world was I planning to get Slane
for the band, U2.com, was holding a little promo thing where they
would e-mail the registered people a password before a show went
on presale. You would then use the password to log into the presale
at Ticketmaster. In theory, it was a chance for fans to get tickets
before anyone else. From what I've heard, it backfired. Ticketmaster
is a horrible ticket seller anyway, but during the presales, there
didn't seem to be many tickets on sale to begin with. Plus, the
staggering demand rendered fans with poor hardware and a slow connections
helpless as someone else walked away with the few tickets on sale.
It had been
this way with all American concerts I tried to get tickets for.
Boston. New York. Philadelphia. Washington DC. All of them. Came
up empty and ended up getting tickets another way (stories of which
are available at this site).
And then the
big news came from U2.com. Just what everyone had been waiting for.
Slane was going on sale. I got the e-mail and the password. I had
been working a lot but by some stroke of divine intervention, I
had that day off. 10AM GMT on March 8, 2001. Slane was up for grabs.
The regular sale would be two days later. Everything was riding
on this. I had to work that night at eleven so sleeping in that
morning was what I'd usually do.