Relive the MAGIC: the 10 most ICONIC concerts at Slane Castle

From David Bowie to Madonna and everyone in between, we look at the ten most iconic concerts at Slane Castle.

Relive the magic: the 10 most iconic concerts at Slane Castle.

Located just north of Dublin, Slane Castle is an impressive 18th-century castle that has been the seat of the Conyngham family since it was built. Today, it acts as a concert and events venue, with numerous iconic acts taking to the stage here.

An iconic open-air venue located in the village of Slane, County Meath, Slane Castle has hosted some of the biggest names in music throughout the years. Today, we’re counting down the ten most iconic concerts at Slane Castle.

Thin Lizzy performed the first ever gig here back in 1981. Since then, Slane Castle has grown to become one of the largest and most beloved venues in Ireland, boasting a capacity of over 80,000 and welcoming some of the biggest names in music.

Celebrating over 40 years of music, we are taking a look back through the history books today to relive the magic and reveal the top ten most iconic concerts to take place at Slane Castle.

10. Metallica (2019) – their first Irish show in a decade

Just before the pandemic in June 2019, US heavy metal band Metallica took to the stage at Slane Castle to perform to crowds of adoring Irish fans.

Performing hits such as ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, this was the band’s first Irish show in over a decade – and they certainly didn’t disappoint!

9. Foo Fighters (2015) – a truly memorable night

Launching into ‘Everlong’ as soon as they hit the stage, the Foo Fighters performed one of the most incredible gigs ever to take place at Slane Castle.

Performing to a crowd of over 60,000, one of the highlights of the night was when Dave came out into the crowd to perform ‘My Hero’, a song dedicated to his former Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain.

8. Oasis (2009) – love them or hate them

One of the most controversial bands of the past 40 years, there’s no denying that Oasis’ 2009 gig was one of the most iconic concerts at Slane Castle.

Performing as part of what would be their final tour together as a band before the famous Gallagher brother bust-up, the Manchester group impressed fans with a lively show performing their hits, such as ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Live Forever’.

7. U2 (1983 & 2001) – one of Ireland’s most beloved bands

Formed in Dublin in 1976, U2 is one of the most famous bands to hail from the Emerald Isle. Fronted by singer and activist Bono, they’re known for hits such as ‘With or Without You’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.

Offering raw and emotional performances both times they played, the band showed their home crowd what it is that makes them so special.

6. Madonna (2004) – the Queen of Pop

Taking to the stage in front of a crowd of 62,000, Madonna’s open-air gig at Ireland’s Slane Castle was part of her 2004 Re-Invention Tour.

Despite the rain, the night was one fans will never forget. Entering from the roof, Madonna went to all extremes to keep fans happy, performing hits such as ‘Like A Prayer’ and ‘Material Girl’.

5. Bruce Springsteen (1985) – his debut gig in Ireland

Back in 1985, the Boss performed his debut gig in Ireland to a crowd of over 95,000 fans from all across the island, keen to hear some of the biggest hits from his then-recently released album Born in the USA.

Lucking out with the weather, fans enjoyed a gloriously sunny day while the Boss performed hits such as ‘Born to Run’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark’.

4. R.E.M. (1995) – plenty of ‘Shiny Happy People’ that night

One of the most iconic concerts at Slane Castle, R.E.M took to the stage in 1995 on what was an unusually sunny day as part of their Monster Tour.

Supported by Oasis, Belly, and Spearhead, fans enjoyed an unforgettable lineup and a night they’ll never forget.

3. The Rolling Stones (1982 & 2007) – a night fans won’t forget

In true Rolling Stones style, the scale of this gig was nothing short of spectacular. With helicopters flying in and out and celebrities watching from the castle, the night felt like history in the making.

With no screens, only one bar, and no merch stalls, it was an event like none other. But still, the 80,000-strong crowd enjoyed a thrilling evening singing along to hits like ‘Angie’ and ‘Satisfaction’.

2. David Bowie (1987) – part of the iconic Glass Spider tour

Taking to the stage in summer 1987, David Bowie offered a suitably theatrical performance as part of his Glass Spider Tour for his debut Irish gig.

One of the biggest concerts in Ireland that year, this English icon decided halfway through to diverge from his script and instead play his classic hits like ‘The Jean Genie’, ‘Heroes’, and ‘Let’s Dance’.

1. Queen (1986) – one of the greatest nights in Slane history

Topping our list of most iconic concerts at Slane Castle is Queen’s 1986 gig at the famous open-air venue. A year on from their iconic Live Aid performance, the band gave Irish fans an incredible show.

Freddie took to the stage wearing a crown and belting out ‘One Vision’ in the pouring rain, starting the show on a high. The band then followed up with their greatest hits like ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

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