The millennium year in the arts

 

Rock

Highlights:

The best bets this year happened at racecourses. Punchestown was the location for Creamfields, a fine day out which featured The Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Moloko, Kelis, Paul Oakenfold and David Holmes. The event of the year, however, took place over two days at Fairyhouse, during which fans were treated to a dazzling variety of top acts, including Travis, Beck, David Gray, Paul Weller, Embrace, Badly Drawn Boy, Death In Vegas, Happy Mondays and All Saints. It was the nearest we were going to get to Glastonbury, and the weather was fine too. Other memorable gigs included Radiohead in their own tent at Punchestown and Laurent Garnier at Vicar Street, while, at the Olympia, there was Coldplay, Angie Stone, Joe Strummer, Eels and Smashing Pumpkins. Generally, though, millennium year was enough to make you want to stay in and wash your hair. The major rock events failed to live up to their extensive hype, and those who ventured out to Mosney, Slane, Dublin Castle, the RDS and Lansdowne Road didn't find themselves in the rock 'n' roll heaven promised by the posters and publicity blurbs. Bon Jovi, Oasis, Tina Turner, The Cranberries and Tracy Chapman all played outdoor gigs this year, but you'd have been better off putting the money towards a good conditioner. Slane was the biggest disappointment, despite its triple-bill of headline acts. We'd already seen Macy Gray and Moby in Ireland earlier this year, so we knew exactly what to expect; and Bryan Adams didn't offer much that was new, exciting or even interesting. Still, great day out if you had a VIP pass.

The much-hyped Homelands at Mosney turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of DJs larging it up in a bunch of tents. Punters trudged through muddy fields to get from one tent to the next, and only the giant LCD displays helped dancers to distinguish one celebrity jock from the next. Live sets by Primal Scream and Ian Brown were uninspiring, but at least Leftfield finished things off with a bang.

Lowlight:

U2 on the roof of the Clarence. It wasn't a beautiful day, nobody could see anything, and they only played two songs. Bummer!

Kevin Courtney