A new millennium begins and first gig goes to Therapy? who brought their 10 year anniversary tour to the Empire.  This was the first time I would get to see the band play here.

Support on the night came from American rockers Clutch.

Next up was Gomez at the Ulster Hall.

Gomez were enjoying success with their second album Liquid Skin. A fantastic live band.

The next gig remains a mystery as I have no idea why I was at it or who recommended it to me!

Wheat came to the Empire on 27 June.

It might have been one of those take a chance moments to go and see somebody at random but even looking at my CD collection I can’t find anything.  Definitely odd.  If anybody was at this and has any memories of it, this is your chance.

With festival season fast approaching, (see 2000 Festivals for more) the only gig that summer in Belfast was the Radio 1 Session in Northern Ireland show at the Limelight.

Up and coming Dublin band JJ72 came to the Limelight with support from local acts Audiosyncracy and Desert Hearts.

This was a free gig so it went out to first come, first served at the queue.  Not bad for a free gig.  Think it also went out on radio broadcast as well.

Radiohead came back to Ireland in September to promote their new albums Kid A and Amnesiac.  It was a tour with a difference as Radiohead brought on tour with them their own big top.

We got tickets for the second night of the gig.  It had a strange buzz to it as it somehow lacked the atmosphere of their previous gig in Dublin a few years earlier at the RDS for the OK Computer tour.

I don’t think the fans appreciated the new material.  Everybody just wanted them to play stuff from The Bends.  I think a lot of that material got pushed out as the band played mostly stuff from OK Computer and the two new albums.

I guess there was a bit of indifference to this.  It certainly wasn’t the worst Radiohead gig I had been too but the crowd really killed it and totally ruined it.  This would be the beginning of a new phase for the band.

So how do you top that mild disappointment?  You come home from Dublin that night and get ready for Coldplay at the Ulster Hall!  I was starting to give the band a listen that summer and really liked their first album Parachutes but this gig?  Possibly one of the worst gigs I have ever been too.  It just wasn’t great at all.  With only one album under their belt I think there was lack of material to cover.  So bad, they ending up playing Yellow twice.  The second time round was the most cringe worthy!  Since then I went off the band and have never seen them live since.  My loss I guess!

Embrace came to the Limelight just before Halloween and this was one of my favourite gigs there.  I had definitely been converted to them after previously dismissing them as a poor man’s Oasis.

On account of this gig, I think Embrace were better then Oasis.

I was back down at the Limelight the next night to see Teenage Fanclub.  They had just released Howdy! and it is always a pleasure to see them live.  They were Kurt Cobain’s favourite band, so they can’t be that bad.

Muse brought the Showbiz tour to Dublin’s Olympia with support from locals JJ72.

They didn’t get off to the best start as their gear was stranded in England coming over from the ferry.  The band had to borrow some gear from Muse and we were treated to a short acoustic.

Muse however came on and delivered a really brilliant performance.  This was probably the closest I would get to see them in such an intimate venue.  They really blew the roof off the place.

I finally got a chance to see the Smashing Pumpkins following the disappointment of the cancelled Belfast gig from 1996.  It had been cancelled due to a crush the night before in Dublin.  I went over to London to see my friend David and we took in their gig at Wembley Arena.

This gig was a huge disappointment as we were watching the band literally break up on stage.

It really was so bad.  The band were definitely going through the motions and you just knew the end was nigh.

When it came to introducing the band Billy Corgan turned round to James Aha and retorted “and you are?”.  Ouch!  Such a nasty put down to a fellow band member.  After that it was all over.

JJ72 did an Irish tour in December making a return visit to the Limelight.

This time they remembered to bring their gear with them.

JJ72 gigs tended to be pretty short sets.  You could tell they were pretty much influenced by the likes of Joy Division and early Manic Street Preachers.

Mark Geary also had a habit of smashing guitars on stage as well.

I took advantage of my workplace having an office in Dublin for the next two gigs!  Staying in Dublin for two days while working, it was great way to see both bands.

So night one was Placebo.  No Belfast date this time round, so it was going to be a trip to Dublin to see them.  As always Placebo are great live.  Back to my digs and up for work the next day soon it would be the time to see the Foo Fighters again.

This would be the second time I would see them having saw them make their Irish debut in 1995.  Standing tickets were hard to get for this gig so I settled for seating tickets.

Can’t complain really as I witnessed a brilliant gig that had two drum kits on stage.  We were treated to a drum off between Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl.  So I got to see Dave now drum in two different bands!

Back to Belfast I got to witness the most hyper active band I have ever seen….At The Drive In at the Empire.

Whatever you do, don’t ever try to mosh at any of their gigs.

There were plenty of people who were up for a bit of this on the night but one punter wasn’t so lucky and was called out and rejected from the venue.

I went down to Dublin to see Green Day on the Warning tour.

This was Green Day’s biggest gig in Ireland to date.  The memory of my first Green Day show in 1998 was a distant past.

Green Day as always put a good show on and even invited members of the audience to jam on stage with them and one lucky guy walked out with a guitar.

To round up the year, it was the return of the traditional Christmas gig.

Ash came to the Limelight with the support of Snow Patrol.

Still have the flyer above from the gig.  Worst thing about it, I didn’t get to see Snow Patrol that night!  Bummer.  Was late getting down for the gig but was down in time for Ash and what a gig it was.  They were in blistering form.  We even got treat to a cover of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.  Quality gig and this was before Free All Angels came out too!


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