If you were wondering where all the nice people who thank bus drivers were last Sunday evening, we were all in St. Anne’s Park in Dublin at the Duran Duran concert!
The journey by train and by foot to the open air venue near Clontarf reminded me of queuing for the COVID-19 vaccine, we were all around the same vintage. So we would secretly compare whether we had aged well or not against the rest of Generation X.
The security guards will no doubt have had a debrief describing the manning of last Sundays gig as one of their easiest ever. As a young teenager when Duran Duran were adorning the front cover of Smash Hits, little did I think almost four decades later that there I’d be, standing in a field in north Dublin, foot tapping to their beat.
There was a real 1980s vibe about the place, all we were missing were the shoulder pads, perms and ankle warmers. This was a collection of middle-aged people reliving their 1980s youth. This is what we did in the 80s, found ways to easily entertain ourselves outdoors.
I heard a woman on the radio last Monday claiming that the young people of today are the loneliest ever. Despite all the modes of communication drowning us, it is superficial. It rained last Sunday, which added to the event. We remember in the 1980s when getting wet and not caring was part and parcel of growing up. We were told to “scram” by our parents in the morning and find something to do until dusk. Everybody had a bike or a football or a fishing rod as basic tools to fill “scram” time.
As Gina and I sat waiting on the DART to take us there, we sat along a row of seats in the train station and soon everybody was talking to each other as we were all going to the concert. It wasn’t difficult to spot the Duran Duran concert goers and we all laughed almost embarrassingly at the state of us! But I contented myself that as a generation, we all scrubbed up pretty well.
Planning getting there and home was part of the day. Would we drive, get the train, hitch a lift? As I sat watching the build up to the Donegal vs Armagh game on TV before heading off, my RTÉ colleague Damian O’Meara was doing pre-match interviews. It reminded me that he lives in Clontarf so I sent him a text for some local hostelry and transport information.
Within a couple of minutes, he sent me back valuable information as a plan of attack. Gina, who is American, laughed out loud, “only in Ireland would you see a guy you know on TV and be reminded to text him for information about his local pub while he is working”. Indeed.
As we left the concert in our thousands by foot we did so jovially almost clapping ourselves on the back on what a lovely crowd of people we really are while also delighted with ourselves, no doubt, that we were also getting more than our 10,000 steps in such was the long trek to and from the concert.
I am far from a concert goer and know very little about music but this was a great throwback to a time when we were poor but happy.
Maybe every generation has fond memories of the era they grew up in but being a child of the 1980s was probably the best, says he without a hint of bias.
I was very sorry to hear about the passing of Ray Coyle. I remember in 2010 he showed me plans for Tayto Park and I thought he was mad in the head. May he rest in peace