BMS Guide to St. Patrick’s Day 2011 in New England
St. Patrick’s Day in Boston is more than a single-day holiday. Here in the hub of Irish America, it’s practically a month long celebration. Beyond the plethora of Irish pubs across the city, St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated with a wide array of Irish inspired concerts in town. Here, Boston Music Spotlight presents the complete guide on ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with music in New England. Guinness and Bailey’s are not included.
The Rock Shows – The Traditional Shows – The Local Scene
The Rock Shows
Dropkick Murphys: We can’t talk about St. Patrick’s Day in Beantown without the pride of Boston. So, we get started with the Dropkick Murphys. This year, the band has another reason to celebrate with the release of their brand new album, Going Out In Style. From March 16-20, the Dropkick Murphys will play three nights at the House of Blues before rocking the Tsongas Center in Lowell and then closing the weekend out with a benefit show for the Claddagh Fund at the Paradise. Tickets are long gone for the club shows but are still available for the big show in Lowell with Against Me! through the venue’s box office for $32.50.
Black 47: Led by Larry Kirwan, the Celtic punk-rockers from New York City are on the road in support of their latest album, 2010’s Bankers and Gangsters. Expect to hear some new tunes and old favorites when they play the Clinton Town Hall in Clinton on Saturday, February 26. Tickets are just $10 and also get you in for local favorites The Gobshites and Deirdre Sweeney. All proceeds will help people with developmental disabilities in Massachusetts through the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development.
Flogging Molly: We’ve often called them Los Angeles’ answer to the Dropkick Murphys. These guys never disappoint with their highly energetic live shows. This year, they’ll kick off the St. Patrick’s Day season in Boston when their annual “Green 17” tour hits the House of Blues on Sunday, February 27. Fans can expect a set filled with hits and possibly some new tunes off their forthcoming album, Speed of Darkness, due in stores this May. Tickets are still available through Live Nation for $29.50 and $39.50.
The Saw Doctors: If you’re looking for some good craic (ie. fun) then this is the band to see. The lads from Tuam in County Galway are a must-see live band, who enjoy a cult-like following in the Northeast. Returning to this side of the pond in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and their latest album, The Further Adventures of The Saw Doctors, The Saw Doctors will play the House of Blues on Friday, March 4. Tickets for the show are available through Live Nation for $27.50. If you want to get your weekend started early, head down to Uncasville, Connecticut on March 3 for the band’s free gig in the Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Enter The Haggis: The Canadian Celtic-rockers from Toronto have a great kinship with the folks in Northampton. In fact, the band’s second live was recorded over a series of shows at the Iron Horse Music Hall. They’ll return to the area to play the Pearl Street nightclub on Friday, March 11. Tickets are $17.50 in advance through NBOTickets.com. The band will also play The Met in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on Wednesday, March 9. Tickets are $26 through e-tix.com.
The Pogues: It will be a fairytale in Boston when the legendary Irish punk rockers return to the Hub for another St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Led by troubled lead singer Shane McGowan, the band will stop in Boston for a pair of consecutive shows at the House of Blues as part of a mini eastern-stateside tour. Tickets for the band’s Saturday, March 12 are sold out but are still available for the prior night through Live Nation for $51 and $75.
Glengarry Bhoys: A band that melds pop-rock with Irish and Scottish influences and takes their name from their hometown in Ontario, the Glengarry Bhoys are on the road in support of their latest album, 2010’s Eight. The band will play the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire on Saturday, March 19. Join in on the fun and pick up tickets for $25 through the venue’s box office and website.
Gaelic Storm: The California-based veterans, who first rose to fame thanks to an appearance in the blockbuster film Titanic, are on the road in support of their new album, Cabbage. Released last summer, the band’s seventh studio effort, debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Chart. They’ll close out their ongoing tour with a pair of dates in New England. First the band will play the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on Saturday, March 26. Tickets are $26. The following night, Gaelic Storm will finish their tour at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Tickets are available through the venue’s box office for $27 and $38.
The Traditional Shows
The Wolfe Tones: If you want the true authentic story of Ireland, there is only way to hear it: through the songs of The Wolfe Tones. The trio provides a remarkable night packed with the band’s historic rebel songs and storytelling of their native country’s troubles. In fact, they were once so despised by the British government that their songs were outlawed on English radio. The Wolfe Tones will return to Boston for their annual show at the IBEW Hall in Dorchester on Saturday, March 5. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling 617-436-5050.
John McDermott: The Scottish-Canadian tenor best known for his rendering of the classic “Danny Boy”, and his band will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a show at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on Thursday, March 10. Tickets are available through the venue’s box office for $40 and $45.
Women of Ireland: Billed as “an innovative and exciting full stage concert production which showcases the next generation of Ireland’s leading female performers”, Women of Ireland will stop in Massachusetts for a show at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 12. Tickets, which range in price from $28 to $68, are available through the venue’s box office.
Celtic Woman: The darlings of PBS, who just released a new album called Lullaby, are back on the road for another leg of their acclaimed “Songs From The Heart” tour. The group will perform an afternoon show at the Citi Wang Theatre in Boston on Sunday, March 13. Tickets for the show, which range in price from $48 to $78, are available through Telecharge. Other New England stops for Celtic Woman include the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conneticut on March 12 and the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 15.
The High Kings: Brought to you by the same group that formed Celtic Woman, this talented ballad group brings features vocalists Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden. Continuing to tour in support of their 2010 album Memory Lane, The High Kings will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Boston with a show at the Paradise Rock Club on Thursday, March 17. Tickets are available through Live Nation for $25.
A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn: WGHB’s Brian O’Donovan is back at it with another edition of his Celtic Sojourn series. The St. Patrick’s Day show, now in its sixth year, is a great mix of traditional and contemporary Irish music, song and dance. This year’s lineup will feature a dynamic young five-piece band from Ireland called Téada, who will be joined by a iconic singer and accordion player, Séamus Begley, from the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. Irish American singer-songwriter Carol Noonan will perform with acclaimed guitarists Kevin Barry and Duke Levine. Also on the bill is uilleann piper (the Irish form of the bag pipes) Michael Cooney. As has become a tradition for the show, attendees can also expect to see some special surprise guests to perform. The show will take at the Sanders Theatre in Harvard Square on Friday, March 18 and the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford on Saturday, March 19. Tickets for both shows, which range in price from $25 to $48, are available through each of the venue’s box office and websites.
Dervish: One of Ireland’s most acclaimed traditional bands over the past two decades, Dervish will spend the month of March in the United States. With no new album to support, fans can expect a lively set of hits when the group plays the Somerville Theatre on Friday, March 18. Tickets are available through the venue’s box office for $27. Dervish will also play the Place Theatre in Manchester, New Hampshire on Wednesday, March 16.
Celtic Crossroads: Having recently performed in Worcester, the critically acclaimed group will return to the area in March as they continue to tour in support of their new album, World Fusion. The album name derives from the band’s ability to fuse a variety of musical genres in the Irish music family including gypsy, bluegrass, classical and jazz from across the world. The group will perform at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord, New Hampshire on Sunday, March 20. Tickets, which range in price from $25 to $45, are available through the venue’s box office and website.
Ronan Tynan: The acclaimed tenor from County Kilkenny is best known for his stirring rendition of “God Bless America” and was a staple at Yankee Stadium until he infamously moved to Boston last year after some controversy. He’s scheduled to appear at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast in South Boston on March 20 and will perform a pair of concert in Boston before and after the holiday. Tynan will play the Blackman Auditorium at Northeastern University on Thursday, March 10. Tickets are $30 for the general public through the venue’s box office with discounts available for seniors, students, faculty and alumni. He’ll also perform at the Wilbur Theatre on Sunday, March 27. Tickets, which range in price from $32 to $55, are available through Ticketmaster.
The Local Scene
Of course even if all of the national and international acts mentioned above were not touring, there would be plenty of good tunes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re looking for an authentic Irish session the check out one of our favorite Boston pubs, The Black Rose, or venture out to Canton to the Irish Cultural Centre of New England, which boasts a full slate of great cultural activities (see more here). Plenty of other local favorites – including The Larkin Brigade, Swaggerin’ Growlers, The Gobshites, The Fenian Sons and Inchicore – all have gigs lined up, so be sure to check them out as well.