Review By Frances Winston
Nile Rodgers and Chic
St Anne’s Park, Raheny, June 2nd, 2019
I have seen Nile Rodgers so many times at this stage that I could probably write the review in advance of the gig. He always puts on a wonderfully polished and feel-good show, that is full of some of the catchiest hits of the past few decades.
This was no exception. He’s changed the set a bit since I saw him in Malahide Castle last Summer, but all the panache is still there. With songs like Duran Duran’s Notorious, and Madonna’s Like a Virgin, and his own extensive back catalogue, featuring tracks such as Freak Out, there is not one bum-note in his set. Biggest cheers of the evening were reserved for his collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk, the fabulously catchy Get Lucky. And of course the David Bowie classic, Let’s Dance, which always excites the best reaction at his gigs.
Rodgers’ energy is infectious, and his whole band are amazingly talented, and they are all given their moment to shine. For the final number, Good Times, he brought numerous audience members onto the stage, and this only served to reinforce the party atmosphere so prevalent at his gigs.
There were one or two sound issues, but from what I could gather, these were caused by the heavy winds rather than anything technical, so they can be forgiven. So all in all, Nile Rodgers was great.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the venue or organisation. I go to a lot of shows – indoors and outdoors – and I have never seen one as badly organised as this. The queues for the bathrooms were astronomical. It took me 22 minutes to get to the top of it. You know it’s really bad when there’s also a massive queue for the gents, which traditionally moves faster.
Besides this, the bar situation was incredibly inadequate. A 29-minute queue to get a drink ensued there, and at no point did it dissipate. There were also issues with people jumping railings to try and get to the top of the queue quicker.
Put simply, there were not nearly enough facilities for the volume of people who were descending on St Anne’s Park. Add to this that there were no extra buses laid on – despite people being encouraged to use public transport – and many people who had followed the directions to the bus afterwards found themselves stranded, as the few buses that did go by were all full. It is painfully obvious that there was not sufficient infrastructure in place for this show.
This is a real shame, as the performance was genuinely really good. I had also heard similar reports from the Kodaline gigs the two nights previous, so these weren’t isolated incidents. It is shocking that such experienced promoters could drop the ball so badly.
Just because you can fit a big stage somewhere doesn’t mean you should, and unless they were to seriously rethink the facilities, I would never attend a gig in this venue again!