my Irish love, Cork: Live at the Marquee with Daryl Hall and John Oates
Happy Wednesday! And as someone who just started sipping on her first pumpkin-flavored coffee of September, happy Pumpkin Spices season!! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, woodworking, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “my Irish love, Cork: Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarra” - you can click here to read about my experience wandering through Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, taking in the beautiful architecture and attention to detail of the Gothic Revival church. It was recommended to me by one of my taxi drivers in Cork, and if I’ve learned anything in my time spent traveling and exploring new places, it’s to take the advice of local taxi drivers (and locals, in general).
Today’s post is officially the 300th post on my blog to date, and it's one of my final posts on Cork (for the time being, though I’m sure I’ll get struck by some Cork inspiration again soon). For my 300th post, there's nothing I can think of that is more appropriate to write about than one of the most magical nights I've ever experienced. But first, a little background! I got a text this morning with a link for an upcoming Daryl Hall and John Oates concert. Daryl Hall and John Oates were supposed to perform at the Hollywood Bowl at the end of May, but given the pandemic, the concert was rescheduled for October of 2021. My boyfriend’s friend texted me about the concert date for next year, and I happily responded that I already have tickets because my original ticket purchase just rolled over to the new concert date!
It was a bummer for me that the Daryl Hall & John Oates got canceled because I’ve seen them perform live every year for the past half-a-decade, including a show in Cork, Ireland. (Yes, I know this is a first world problem and the world has bigger issues, but after having every single marathon I signed up for this year canceled, DHall and JOates getting canceled really stung.) The Monday night after 4th of July weekend of 2019, I woke up early, packed a small overnight bag, walked myself the couple miles to the train station in Dublin, and rode the train for a few hours out to Cork. I swung by my usual haunts (the English Market, O’Connaill Chocolate, Vibes and Scribes) and got settled into my cozy AirBnB on a quiet backroad for a quick shower and change.
Now that I’d gotten ready, I ordered myself a Taxi to Live at the Marquee! When I arrived, I was blown away by just how many Irish people had made the trek to see Daryl Hall & John Oates. As a Philly girl living in Ireland, my heart swelled with pride. Live at the Marquee was not a huge venue, but the parking lot/gathering area out front was fenced off for entry and filled with food and beer trucks and hundreds of Irish people waiting to enter the Circus Tent-like venue. I distinctly remember ordering some cheese fries and sitting on a curb, watching everyone enjoy themselves before the show even began. Once inside, I made my way to the floor for standing room only. There had to be over 1000 people in the venue that night, and the people who were seated ended up abandoning their seats within the first few moments of the show as Daryl and John started playing “Maneater.” Since I opted for standing room the entire time, I was within spitting distance of the dynamic duo as people began to swarm and dance all around me. I may have gone to the concert by myself, but I never felt alone. Instead, I made friends, sang along with my favorite band, and danced the night away.
Daryl Hall and John Oates started with “Maneater,” followed immediately by “Family Man” and “Out of Touch.” Every single audience member sang along to everything, and although I was probably the youngest person in the crowd, there were people only a couple years older than me who also knew every word. All the popular hits we know and love became sing-a-longs with Hall and Oates nearly being drowned out by the crowd’s involvement. The leading men looked overjoyed, beaming smiles on their faces, and I felt it, too. I know I’m not a member of the band, but man, knowing it was Daryl Hall & John Oates’ first time performing in Cork, Ireland, and that I got to be there to be a part of it is still something that gives me goosebumps.
There were some sound difficulties during a couple songs (like my *favorite* “She’s Gone”), but it didn’t really matter. The crowd singing along made up for any tech issues that happened, and getting to be a part of something like seeing Daryl Hall & John Oates perform in Cork to an audience where the majority of fans had never seen them live before was so special I don’t know if words can’t really describe it. Daryl Hall and John Oates both noted how wonderful the crowd was in Cork and made a promise to return - they being just as excited to be there as Cork was to have them. Even their drummer, Brian Dunne, donned a UCC jersey for the occasion!
That there would be an encore at the show was a no-brainer, and Daryl Hall and John Oates did not disappoint. They returned to the stage after so much cheering to bust out “Rich Girl,” a favorite of mine from my time at boarding school, and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).” Before they could play their final (actually their final) number, anyone who had been sitting by that point no longer had their bums in their seats. Everyone was up, cheering, clapping, and singing “Olé, Olé” together. Remembering the unity of that moment now gives me goosebumps. Daryl Hall and John Oates looked surprised by the outpouring of love from the audience at Live at the Marquee. Daryl Hall smiled and shrugged, waiting for the noise to die down, while John Oates looked outwardly joyful, beaming at the audience and taking it all in. You can tell how much they love to perform and how much it means to them, which is really something magical to witness. They finished with “You Make My Dreams.” People laughed, clapped, and danced their hearts out. It was the perfect ending to an amazing night, especially given how many Irish dreams came true that evening. I remember calling my parents on my walk back to the AirBnB from the show. I recapped the night in great detail, especially to my dad who first introduced me to Daryl Hall and John Oates when I was a much younger little lady.
I think there’s a lot of magic in the daily mundanities of life if you know where to look for them, but that Daryl Hall and John Oates concert in Cork, Ireland was truly vivid and exceptionally magical. My dreams definitely came true as I danced around with a bunch of strangers, all of us united by this one duo who made such incredible music we all loved. Have you ever had a truly magical night? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
55. 13.1 in Dublin
70. the Kingsroad
75. Dear Nana
90. French weddings