BMS Guide to St. Patrick’s Day Concerts

, Staff

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 this month. Guinness and Bailey’s are not included.

The Rock Shows –  The Traditional Shows –  The Local Scene

The Rock Shows

Dropkick Murphys: You can’t even mention St. Patrick’s Day in Boston without mentioning these guys. The hometown favorites return to Lansdowne Street for seven shows over six consecutive days, beginning on March 12 and culminating on March 17. Most of the shows are sold out but tickets remain for March 13 matinee, as well as March 15. You can also get pumped up for the show by picking up their new live CD/DVD, Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA, which was recorded during last year’s shows and hits stores on March 16.

Flogging Molly: The west coast’s answer to our Dropkick Murphys. The band is led by Dave King, a true Dubliner, and never disappoints in concert with an energetic rock show. This year, they’ll bring their annual “Green 17” tour to Boston’s House of Blues on Saturday, February 27 to kick off the St. Patrick’s Day season. Not surprisingly the show is sold out but we hear the guys might swing by McGreevy’s to meet fans before the show.

Enter The Haggis: The Toronto-based Celtic rockers are back on the road and have handful of New England shows scheduled. Highlighting the list of shows is a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Showcase Live! in Foxboro on March 17. Tickets are just $25. They’ll also hit their home away from home in Northampton for a show at Pearl Street on March 6.

Black 47: Led by Larry Kirwan, the Celtic punk-rockers from New York City are gearing up for the release of their new album, Bankers and Gangsters. Expect to hear some new tunes and old favorites when they play Showcase Live in Foxboro for a St. Patrick’s Day eve show. Tickets are just $15 and also get you in for local favorites The Gobshites.

Hothouse Flowers: Another show at Showcase Live! worth seeing is the Hothouse Flowers. The veteran outfit from Dublin hasn’t put out anything new in six years, so we’re figuring this will feature a good ole best-of setlist. Tickets are $20.

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 will host a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Tupelo Music Hall in Salisbury. Join the fun for $25.

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 the IBEW Hall in Dorchester on Saturday, February 27 and St. Michael’s Hall in Lynn on Friday, March 5.

The Chieftains: Ireland’s most famous traditional Irish band is hitting American shores for the 36th straight year. The band, who have won six Grammy Awards and have been nominated eighteen times, are still making new music and will release San Patricio on March 6. The album is a collaboration with fellow Grammy-winner Ry Cooder and features plenty of guest stars including Linda Ronstadt, Liam Neeson and Los Tigres del Norte. San Patricio fuses the band’s traditional sound with Mexican influences as they tell the story of the San Patricio Battalion, a group of Irish-Americans who deserted the United States Army to join the Mexican side in the Mexican-American War. They’ll bring the album to life with two shows in Massachusetts: first at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on Tuesday, March 9 and then at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Thursday, March 11.

Celtic Woman: The darlings of PBS have mapped an expansive tour in support of their recently released CD/DVD, Songs From the Heart. The group’s fifth CD and DVD debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 Billboard World Music Chart. The group will perform at the Citi Wang Theatre in Boston on March 12, 13 and 14. They will also stop at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 28 and the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island on March 9 and 10.

Foster and Allen: The legendary musical duo of Mick Foster and Tony Allen are coming to Boston for a rare appearance thanks to the folks at Shamrock Nation. They’ll play three shows – Friday, March 5, Saturday, March 6, and Sunday, March 7 (matinee) – at the the IBEW Hall in Dorchester. Tickets are $25 and tables of ten are available as well.

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 fifth year, is a great mix of traditional and contemporary Irish music, song and dance. This year’s lineup consists of legendary fiddler, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, guitarist Tony McManus, harpist/singer Maeve Gilchrist with Darol Anger and more. The show is scheduled for Saturday, March 20 at the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University.

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 some authentic Irish fun, check out our favorite Boston pub, 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 Midatlantic, Three Day Threshold, Swaggerin’ Growlers, The Gobshites, The Fenian Sons and Inchicore all have gigs lined up, so be sure to check them out as well.

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