Dublin Irish Festival 2009

Street-DwawgsMade it to the Dublin Irish Festival again this year, and like last year, only was able to go on Sunday.  Still, had a great time listening to some traditional Irish, Celtic rock n’ roll and. . . even a punk rock band.  Yes, the headliner to Sunday’s show were Boston’s own Street Dogs, but more on them in a minute.

I liked pretty much every band in the afternoon line-up on the Killian’s Celtic rock stage (1 of SEVEN stages they have at this event every year).

First up were the Irish rockers out of L.A.,  the Young Dubliners, who were accompanied by special guest Eric Rigler – the pipe player/composer behind movies like ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Titanic’.  They greeted everyone good morning (it was almost 1pm) and apologized for making us get up so early on a Sunday morning.  Knew right then I was gonna like these guys.   Text book Celtic rock and very good stuff.  Rigler was given a few moments to showcase his solo work & started off by playing the intro to ‘Voodoo Chile’ on the pipes.  Very cool!

Next up was a group called POGEY out of Halifax, Nova Scotia who played a country/Irish hybrid fused with rock and pop.  A little mellow but still good stuff!

Perennial favorite & self proclaimed ‘Adrenaline Peddlers’  Scythian were next, playing to a packed house after we waited for security to remove the first 13 rows of chairs.   I cannot rave enough about these guys; talented, eclectic and completely comfortable with the crowd, they play their own brew of Celtic, Gypsy and Country with a sharp dose of rock for good measure.  Destined to be a big commercial success in my opinion – or at the very least good fundraising fodder for your local PBS station.

Prodigals followed and I didn’t care much for them.  They’re just too slow, too mellow and generally not my cup of tea.  If you or someone you know likes them, more power to ya’.  I headed for the beer booth.

Lastly, and most surprisingly were the punk rock ensemble know as Street Dogs (pictured).  Vocalist Mike McColgan (formerly of the Dropkick Murphys) and his band of merry lunatics whipped the dwindling but zealous crowd into a frothing frenzy by the fourth song in – despite repeated warnings against moshing from the event organizers.  Beer spraying, lighting rig climbing, fist pumping, good ole’ fashioned oldschool punk with an Irish flavor.  Had to buy a t-shirt from these guys, just too much fun.  And LOUD, OMG painfully loud but I enjoyed every second.  Somehow, I think the Irish Festival folks didn’t know what they were getting into with this band.  Will be interesting to see if they get invited back (my vote is a hearty ‘yes’, but put them on Saturday night instead, mmk?).

Overall, a great time was had by all.  My numb ears and I look forward to going for more than one damn day next year, loading up on the Bangers and ogling a few pretty cloggers.    And I WILL get a kilt, I swear I will!  Next time . . .

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