About the most touristy thing to do in Ireland is visit a castle. Little did I know that most castle grounds double as concert venues. For Dublin, that place is Malahide Castle. For me, the concert was Radiohead.
When I was going through my little teen angst stage of my life, I listened to a lot of Radiohead, but mostly just the popular songs. Think “Creep” and “Karma Police” on repeat in my DiscMan. I remember reading about them in Rolling Stone’s countdown of the best live bands. After that, it was stories from my friends who had seen them at some big concert or a huge festival in the middle of nowhere.
My taste in music expanded for better and for worse, but finally, when Radiohead only grew to take up a few slots in my iPhone, I got my chance.
It was made very clear from the start that parking would be a problem, so everyone was asked to use public transportation. The DART is a train line that runs along the coast from the Southside to the Northside of Dublin. The trains were packed.
I felt sorry for the man who just took a trip to a bakery for some baguettes, but ended up stuck on the DART beside all of the concert-goers. The tips of his baguettes were jutting into the aisles and flour started marking his clothes as people bumped into him while shoving their way in. Luckily, he escaped before the city centre crowd entered our train. Soon the train began to resemble the subways at Times Square, but without as many bars and polls to hold onto.
Once we got to the Malahide stop, everyone shuffled out like cattle and headed straight to the local liquor store, or the ‘Off-License’ as they call it over here. Even those who had never stepped foot in Malahide before could tell where it was from the long line outside the door and the guard/bouncer who kept the shop from being overwhelmed. Then, everyone from the Offy reunited at the rugby pitch to drink their cans. It was a lot like the classic movie scene where all the high school kids go out drinking on the football fields.
To get to the actual castle, there was quite a little trek through the woods. The path was thickly lined with trees so that it felt like you were in a forest. Then all of a sudden there was a clearing with a stone castle on one side and a stage on the other.
Radiohead was just as great as I had read and heard about years before. Although they didn’t play any of those depressing singles that I used to love (and still enjoy), they did play a couple of hits from older albums. Most of their set was off of their “In Rainbows” album. Maybe it was the fact that fans were able to purchase “In Rainbows” at their own rate, or it could just be that it’s easy to pretend to know the words in a huge crowd, but everyone seemed to sing along and get just as excited for the recent hits as they did the popular songs.
When Radiohead went on, it was still bright out. Midway through their set, it was still bright out. Finally in about the last quarter of the concert, the sun was setting and for their first encore it went dark. Now the castle was shinning with spotlights and the trail back to the DART was lined with lanterns to guide the way.
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