For this blog I am going to break it down due to the amount of gigs that year. This first part covers January to May and the second part will cover June to December.
The first gig of the new year was one of sheer impulse. Jimmy Eat World were due to support Blink 182 on their European tour which was to start in January. Blink 182 pulled their entire European tour that year leaving Jimmy Eat World with a void to fill so they put on their own shows.
I had just got into the after hearing Bleed American which they got retitled Jimmy Eat World following the events of 9/11.
I took a chance and got a ticket for their gig at Temple Bar Music Centre (now the Button Factory). It was an amazing gig and definitely one well worth travelling down for.
There was one casualty at this gig…my glasses!
They went skyward and hit the floor. Mad panic ensued as I tried to relocate them. I managed to get them but they ended up in such a state that I had to get a new pair. The joy of venturing into the moshpit.
Within a few short weeks I would be down in Dublin again. This time NME brought the Brat Tour to Ireland for the first time.
Again NME picked their tips for the new year and it was quite a mixed back. Party rocker Andrew WK headlined with support from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Lostprophets and The Coral. A very diverse line up. Out of all the bands, the stand out for me was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club who I would get to see more than any other band on the bill here.
There was one gig in February of that year and a lot more closer to home for a change. The Waterfront was a strange venue for such an iconic band like the The Charlatans. This was the first time I had got to see them in Belfast and they did not disappoint.
I had a birthday gig in March which was a trip over to Glasgow to see the mighty Weezer. They have been one of my favourite bands and it was great to see them live indoors for a change.
Support was to come from American band Remy Zero, famous for their theme song to the Superman origins series Smallville.
They didn’t turn up and were replaced by local band Biffy Clyro who according to my Glasgow friend Colin “are shite”. Wonder if he still feels about them this way now?
Weezer were brilliant and this was one of my favourite shows in the famous Barrowland.
April saw Gomez make a return visit to Belfast, this time playing at Mandela Hall.
May was the start of the crazy month. Lots of gigs but none quite like doing six in one week!
It all started on the May bank holiday weekend. First up was Rocket From The Crypt at Conor Hall.
This was my first and only visit to Conor Hall which was part of the Art College in Belfast. Quite a few famous bands have graced the stage here like Radiohead. Rocket From The Crypt were amazing. It was great to see them in my home city having previously seen them in London the year before.
The following evening Evan Dando did a solo gig at the Limelight.
A fantastic performance by Evan who for a change wasn’t stoned out of his head! It was great to hear a mixture of solo stuff as well as some classic Lemonheads.
So two gigs down, four to go. The next two were going to be in Dublin so it was going to be a weekend stay for the Heineken Green Energy Festival at Dublin Castle.
Saturday night was headlined up The White Stripes which was their biggest gig in Ireland since their debut at the Witnness Festival the year before. Their support all came from Detriot and all friends of the band – The Von Bondies, The Dirtbombs and the Detriot Cobras.
Now the second ticket is going to cause a bit of confusion as I have mentioned that I am in Dublin for two gigs at Dublin Castle. The second ticket which has The Hives at the Ambassador was my original ticket and then Muse got announced for Dublin Castle. As there was no ticket exchange, The Hives were added to the Dublin Castle bill and their headline slot was cancelled.
I was really excited for this one as the Hives were my new favourite band at the time. They were good but I would get to see them in Belfast which was a better gig.
Muse put on a good show but they were touring Origin of Symmetry which was the follow up to Showbiz but the crowd were having none of it and wanted to hear the first album. Go figure, I think the second album was better but we Irish audiences can be a right fickle bunch.
So on the Monday it is time to go home and no time to rest either as the six day gig fest is coming to a close!
The last two nights would be a trip to the Limelight twice. Monday saw the Hives bring their maniac brand of rock and roll to Belfast. Having seen them in Dublin the night before this gig was one of my favourite ever in the Limelight. They brought immense joy to their performance and I came away from that gig with a big grin on my face feeling that I had just witnessed an incredible performance. Sadly the Hives never graced our city again following this show.
Tuesday night and I was wrecked. I think by day six it had taken it’s toll on me with the travel and standing around. Considering that I don’t drink I was still knackered. Maybe this was one gig too many. Can’t remember too much about Ikara Colt apart from NME hyping them up. Of all the gigs this was not the best attended of the bunch. I could have done with a night off!
I had a few weeks break from gigging until the end of May when it started all over again.
Another trip to Dublin and this time Jimmy Eat World returned to the city to play at the Ambassador.
Their popularity was building so it was only a matter of time before they would move up to the bigger venues.
I enjoyed the gig but still think the first one was something special. This time however my glasses remained intact and didn’t get smashed.
Another trip south brought me to Ozzfest at Punchestown Race Course. I will cover this on the festivals blog.
Finally, last gig of the month went to Hundred Reasons.
They were enjoying chart success with their debut album, Ideas Above Our Station and were part of the new wave of Britrock that was breaking through at the time. Championed by the likes of Melody Maker, they hit the Limelight but it wouldn’t be their last visit to Belfast as they got popular they would be back later on in the year.