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Slane celebrates 30th birthday with 80,000

IT WAS touted as a birthday --30 years of Slane concerts -- and it sure felt like a party.

The roar from the crowd just before 9pm signalled the arrival of Kings of Leon, who the 80,000-strong crowd braved the weather and paid big bucks to see.

Showing no signs of fatigue from the previous night's partying in the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin, where they enjoyed a late-night session with legendary crooner Neil Diamond, they proved why they are one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

They played all their best-known hits, as well as tracks from their new album, Come Around Sundown, during their spectacular two-hour set.

As expected, their smash hit Sex on Fire brought the castle down.

The Tennessee band dedicated the gig to their uncle, who died on Friday afternoon.

Given the occasion, it was fitting that Thin Lizzy, who played at the very first Slane concert in 1981, also performed, 30 years on.

Other high-profile acts, including Elbow, White Lies and The Whigs, entertained the crowd at the iconic Meath venue during the afternoon. Henry Mountcharles was also celebrating his own milestone at the concert -- his 60th birthday.

Unlike normal ticket holders, lucky VIP revellers could enjoy the exciting sporting fixtures that took place throughout the day, including the Magners League Final and Champions League Final.

Kings of Leon lead singer Caleb Followill's new wife, Victoria's Secret underwear model Lily Aldridge, was spotted cheering her hubbie on backstage, while models and socialites enjoyed the VIP compound.

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