Stone Roses: Dreams come true for fans in bed of Roses
REFORMED indie legends the Stone Roses turned the Phoenix Park into Feile 1995 last night at one of the most anticipated gigs of the year.
A sell-out audience of 50,000 devotees proved that they were "still mad for it" as singer Ian Brown and his bandmates played the 70s funk and Byrds-inspired guitar which once united rock and dance music.
Taking to the stage at 9.25pm Ian Brown told the crowd: "Brothers and sisters I need your assistance" before they launched into opening song 'I Want To Be Adored'.
'Mersey Paradise' and 'Sally Cinnamon' followed in a set powered by guitarist John Squire's fluid fret work.
Cricket hats of every colour were worn by the crowd with Ian Brown trying a few on when he ventured down from the stage to meet fans and take pictures for them on their mobile phones.
There had been fears that the summer's rain would swamp this return to the summer of love but the clouds cleared to create a warm balmy evening of 1980s and 1990s nostalgia.
After the success of their home-town shows in Manchester last week, the band had vowed that "Dublin would have to be next" -- after all it had been at the funeral of bassist Gary 'Mani' Mounfield's Kildare-born mother in April last year at which the seeds of their reformation was sown.
"We'd love to go back and do a few shows in McGonagles," Mani had told the Irish Independent at a press conference last October to announce the band's comeback dates -- unaware of the closure years previously of the South Anne Street venue where the then-unknown Mancunians once had to "fight their way" out of the place in the late 1980s after being "bottled" off-stage.
But the Phoenix Park had to do last night for the 'Second Coming' in their first show in Ireland since they played Feile in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork, in 1995.
"I've never seen the Stones Roses live but I've been listening to them all my life, Barry Dagge (44) told the Irish Independent.
For younger music fans, last night's first of three concerts this week at the park by major acts, including Swedish House Mafia and Snow Patrol, is a replacement for the Oxegen Music Festival which would normally be held this weekend.
The buzz created by the Manchester band's comeback has resulted in them re-entering the pop charts for the first time in 17 years with the compilation album 'The Very Best Of The Stone Roses' proving a hit for legions of fans.
But 'Fool's Gold', 'I Am The Resurrection' and 'I Wanna Be Adored' have enough hooks so snare any audience, young or old.
"I came with my dad and my mum who are Stone Roses fans but I'd probably have come myself, they're such a good band," said Sarah Booth from Chapelizod, Dublin.
Asked by the Irish Independent last October if they stood by their claim that they had set out to "save the world from U2", singer Ian Brown joked: "We'll give that another go."
And last night they were certainly making a good job of it, as fans went home singing of 'Sally Cinnamon' into the night.