Guide to St. Patrick’s Day Concerts in New England

From rock to traditional, there are plenty of concerts to enjoy

, 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 a complete guide featuring fifteen of the best performances set to take place over the next few weeks across New England. Guinness and Baileys are not included.

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. After tackling the TD Garden last year, the veteran Irish-punk rockers will return their focus to a series of shows at the House of Blues. And not surprisingly, all five shows over four days from March 13 to 16 are sold out. Of course, if you can find a way in to any of the shows: make it happen! On March 17, they’ll deliver a quick set at the Lansdowne Pub before the big “St. Patrick’s Day Night at the Fights” event at the House of Blues.

Black 47: Always a great live act, the Celtic punk-rockers from New York City won over a lot of new fans when they opened for the Dropkick Murphys at the TD Garden last year. Fans, new and old, will surely want to check out their show at the far more intimate confines of Ocean Mist in Wakefield, Rhode Island on Saturday, March 15. Tickets for the show are available through eTix for $18.

Sharon Corr: With The Corrs still on an indefinite hiatus, Sharon has kept busy with her solo career. In September, she released her sophomore studio effort The Same Sun. She’ll promote the album on her upcoming stateside tour, which hits Boston for a night at the Brighton Music Hall on Wednesday, March 19. Tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster for $25. She’ll also play a free set at Mohegan Sun Casino’s Wolf Den in Uncasville, Connecticut on March 13.

Gaelic Storm: The California-based veterans returned last summer with The Boathouse, which became their fourth consecutive release to debut at #1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. They have a trio of New England shows lined up, starting at the Flying Monkey Performance Center in Plymouth, New Hampshire on February 28 and continuing at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on March 1 and The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on March 2.

Enter The Haggis: The Canadian Celtic-rockers from Toronto take a break from recording their eighth album to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the road. With a strong fanbase in the area, they’ve lined up several New England shows including a pair in Massachusetts: The Center for Arts in Natick on Friday, March 21 and the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River on Saturday, March 22. Also on the itinerary are stops in Maine (The Strand Theater in Rockland on February 28 and the Stone Mountain Arts Center on March 1), Connecticut (Palace Theater in Stafford Springs on March 7), Vermont (Mount Snow in West Dover on March 16) and New Hampshire (Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry on March 23).

The Tossers: The Chicago-based Celtic punk rockers continue to tour in support of 2013’s The Emerald City. The band will rock the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge on Tuesday, March 4. They’ll be joined by hometown favorites Continental, The Gobshites and BarRoom Heroes. Tickets are available through TicketWeb for $10 in advance and $12 on the day of. You can also see them play the Fete Lounge in Providence on March 5.

The Traditional Shows

WGBH’s A 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 ninth year, is a great mix of traditional and contemporary Irish music, song and dance. Highlighting this year’s lineup is the Alan Kelly Gang. Find out why this has become one of the state’s best St. Patrick’s Day offerings when the show takes place at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16, as well as the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on Friday, March 14. Tickets for each of the shows are available through the venues’ box office and website for $25 to $45.

The Chieftains: With founding member Paddy Moloney still at the helm, Ireland’s most famous traditional band returns stateside tour for another tour of America ahead of St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, this outing will not stop in Massachusetts but you can catch their performance at the Colonial Theatre in Keene, New Hampshire on Tuesday, March 11. Tickets for the show, which range in price from $49 to $85, are available through the venue’s box office and website. They band will also perform at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, Vermont on March 10.

The Wolfe Tones: If you want the true 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 history. Celebrating 50 years together, they’ll return to Boston for their annual show at the IBEW Hall in Dorchester on Saturday, March 1. You can also see them perform at the Waconnah Golf Club in Dalton on February 28 and the John Boyle O’Reilly Club in Springfield on March 12, as well as the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield, Connecticut on March 9.

Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones
: An original member of The Wolfe Tones, Derek Warfield has been going the solo route for the past decade. He and his new band – The Young Wolfe Tones – will be touring in support of their new album, Let Ye All Be Irish Tonight. See them perform at the Malden Irish American Club on Friday, February 28, as well as run of shows through the Ri Ra Irish Pubs of New England: Burlington, Vermont (March 5), Portsmouth, New Hampshire (March 12) and Providence, Rhode Island (March 13).

Dublin City Ramblers
: Led by original member Sean McGuiness, the legendary ballad group was recently honored for “Outstanding Contribution to Irish Folk/Ballad Music” at the annual Sunday World Country Music Awards. They’ll perform at the Fox Theatre at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut on Wednesday, March 19. Tickets for the show are available through the venue’s box office and website for $36.95 and $42.95.

Dervish: Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the pride of Sligo continue to tour in support of 2013’s The Thrush in the Storm. The band will hit Massachusetts for a performance at the Belleville Congregational Church in Newburyport. Tickets for the show are available through the Belleville Roots Music Concert Series website for $30.

Karan Casey: Formerly of Solas, Casey has spent the past decade-plus on her own. She will celebrate the release of Two More Hours, her first studio album since 2008’s Ships in the Forest, with a series of shows in advance of St. Patrick’s Day. See her in Cambridge when she plays Club Passim in Harvard Square on Monday, March 3. Tickets are available in advance through the venue’s website for $30.

James Galway: The legendary “Man With the Golden Flute” returns to Massachusetts for a very special weekend with the Boston Flute Academy. Along with masterclasses, Q&A sessions and exhibits, The “Galway Flute Weekend” will include a concert at the Maliotis Cultural Center in Brookline on Saturday, March 8. Tickets for the show are available through the event’s website for $25 and $50.

The Irish Rovers: Led by original member George Millar, the legendary Canadian Irish folk group are calling it quits after 50 years together. Enjoy their last show in Massachusetts when they perform at the Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington on Sunday, March 23. Tickets are available through the venue’s website for $49. Fans in Western Massachusetts can see the band at the Calvin Theatre in Northhampton on March 22. Other New England dates include the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, New Hampshire on March 21 and Jonathan’s in Ogunquit, Maine on March 18 and 19).

Still, looking for more?

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. Plenty of other local favorites – including Paddy Saul, The Fenian Sons and The Old Brigade, just to name a few – all have gigs lined up, so be sure to check them out as well. Slainte!

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