9 acts that could and probably should headline Croke Park in the future
In honour of Westlife and their glorious return.
You've heard the news about Westlife, right?
The lads, back in action again. Not Brian, though, he's off hanging out with Peaky Blinders or something.
There's even talk of a high profile collaboration with flame-haired troubadour of truth Ed Sheeran.
And on top of all of that, it looks like the foursome are going to headline Croke Park.
Exciting. 80,000 people belting out 'Flying Without Wings' is going to be some moment, I think we can all agree.
Selling out Croke Park should be a bucket list item for the music world's best and brightest, a gargantuan achievement that lives on forever.
With that in mind, the entire JOE desk has come up with the following list of big-name acts that could, should and downright need to book an appointment at Croker in the near future...
Look, we're not letting it go, and nor should you.
If rumours are to be believed, Garth isn't letting it go, either.
The man clearly has unfinished business in Dublin 3.
We've examined the particulars of the Garth Brooks saga of 2014 in forensic detail and the prevailing takeaway is that Brooks would be more than happy to eventually return, and we'd be happy to have him for all five nights, if that's what it takes.
Could he sell out Croker? Come on, now.
Chances of it happening? Believe. He's coming home.
He's the biggest artist in the world right now, even if that's honestly quite mystifying.
The last time Drake came to Irish shores, he took over the 3Arena for a couple of nights and was left with a fairly memorable impression of the place.
Moving swiftly on, the man born Aubrey Drake Graham seems intent on continuing his world domination given his inability to go a week without releasing new music.
If and when he does return with a tricolour draped around his neck, he'll have bigger venues in his sights.
Could he sell out Croker? It would be a Taylor Swift-sized test.
Drake is indeed a gigantic name in music but does he have the pull to sell out the biggest stadium in the Emerald Isle? Maybe.
Chances of it happening? Fairly high. Dude's got a huge ego, so where does he go from here? RDS might be more likely but this is Drake we're talking about.
It's going to happen.
Every time Liam or Noel take a shot at one another and swear blind that the Oasis reunion is never, ever, ever happening, another 100 tickets are sold.
This isn't The Smiths, who are legitimately never going to reform.
This is two savvy businessmen who understand that making the public wait, wait and wait some more is going to result in the biggest windfall of their careers.
And even if they do honestly hate one another they'll do what's best for business, pro-wrestling style.
Could they sell out Croker? In about five minutes or less, most likely.
Chances of it happening? Summer 2020. Mark it down.
Adele is a unique enough act in 2018 for one reason and reason alone; she still sells CDs.
She sells lots of CDs. Why do you think she releases her latest collection of heartbreak anthems* at Christmas? Stocking fillers, mate. The perfect present for mum or your divorced sister.
For the longest time, Adele said that she would never play anywhere bigger than an arena, to the point that this was known to be one of the music industry's biggest obstacles.
That all changed in 2016 when she stepped out in front of the masses at Glastonbury.
Clip via Adele Argentina
It went down well, even if some people watching the BBC feed complained about some bad language. It's a concert, guys, calm down.
*If her fourth album is still about that one boyfriend from when she was a teenager, he might have realistic grounds to sue.
Could she sell out Croker? Definitely.
Chances of it happening? Pretty good. She's due a new album soon enough, so the demand will be there.
Another recent Glastonbury headliner and an ever-popular act that has already blown the roof off* of Slane, Foo Fighters just feel right for Drumcondra.
Dave Grohl's 'nicest man in rock' schtick still hasn't worn thin somehow and the Foos tend to attract Pearl Jam levels of fan devotion wherever they go.
*Outdoor gig, no actual roof present.
Could they sell out Croker? If they packaged this one as some kind of career-spanning Greatest Hits marathon set, it'd make sense.
Chances of it happening? Grohl is the kind of chap who wants to keep building momentum until he finally hangs up the boots. There's no way he hasn't at least thought about this marriage.
Kanye West & JAY-Z
throne2 coming soon
— ye (@kanyewest) September 8, 2018
Three words. That's all it took to make everyone believe again.
Kanye West and JAY-Z aren't the very best of friends at the time of writing, but we hold out hope that they can make it work again.
In the summer of 2012, the rap titans graced Dublin's 3Arena (then The O2) to bring their collaboration album Watch The Throne to the masses.
If you know anybody who attended, then you know this was one of those rare, near-mythical shows lined with pure magic and unbelievable entertainment.
If Yeezy isn't telling lies and we're getting another go-round between this two, it's time to touch the sky.
Could they sell out Croker? Even for them, this might be ambitious.
50,000 tickets seems a lock, but anything above that might be asking too much. Would be amazing, though.
Chances of it happening? About as much chance as that actual album sequel.
Spice Girls Reunion
It's one of the biggest comebacks possible right now. The interest is there. Pop can fill Croke Park as Take That, Coldplay and, admittedly with some degree of difficulty, Taylor Swift have proven in recent years.
Westlife are going to do it, and while they have home field advantage, don't rule out the draw of hearing '2 Become 1' as the sun sets.
Could they sell out Croker? A gamble, and one that would reveal itself pretty much as soon as tickets went on sale. Tentative yes, but with some work involved.
Chances of it happening? Slim, but reunions remain huge business.
This writer is of the opinion that Eminem has been on the wane for quite some time.
Marshall Mathers, however, lives for the chance to stick it to the critics, having reminded them of their write-offs when surprise album Kamikaze proved a commercial hit.
Eminem will always mean something to someone, but is Croke Park beyond him?
Could he sell out Croker? Yes.
Chances of it happening? Not sure he's all that bothered, really.
The dark horse of this list, and the most ferocious debate on the JOE desk.
Dua Lipa is box office, this much we know.
Her performance on the main stage of Electric Picnic this year was highly impressive and drew the biggest crowd in festival history.
Despite only having one album - recently re-released as part of a capitalism-friendly expanded edition - pop's newest megastar has captured the public imagination and it's pretty much up to her what she chooses to do with it.
Could she sell out Croker? For the sake of a social experiment, we'd like to see her try.
Chances of it happening? Now is very much the time.