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

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

, Editor-in-Chief

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 seventeen of the best performances set to take place across New England this month. Guinness and Bailey’s are not included.

The Rock Shows        –        The Traditional Shows

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. The veteran Irish-punk rockers are back with a new album, Signed and Sealed in Blood, and will deliver their biggest show in history with a headlining gig at the TD Garden on Friday, March 15. The self-curated festival will feature bands and attractions on two stages. Tickets for the event are available through Ticketmaster and range in price from $37 to $42.50. The following night, the band will return to their roots for a show at the more intimate confines of the Brighton Music Hall in Allston (ticket information will be announced soon). The weekend will end with a sold out show at the House of Blues on Sunday.

The Saw Doctors: If you’re looking for some good craic (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, the band will play Boston’s House of Blues on Saturday, March 16. Tickets are available through Live Nation for $29.50 and $45. Other area shows include Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on March 1 (free), the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on March 2, the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire (sold out) on March 3 and the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut on March 7.

Gaelic Storm: The California-based veterans returned last summer Chicken Boxer, which became their third consecutive release to debut at #1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. The band’s ninth studio effort fuses their varying influences and delivers a gem filled with rocking anthems and traditional ballads. They’ll perform at the Center for Arts in Natick on Thursday, March 21. Tickets are available for $36 through the venue’s website and box office. Other New England dates include the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on March 22, the Flying Monkey in Plymouth, New Hampshire on March 23 and the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, Maine on March 24.

Enter The Haggis: The Canadian Celtic-rockers from Toronto are gearing up for the release of their forthcoming album The Modest Revolution on March 30. The band’s seventh studio effort is based on the contents of one day in one newspaper, the March 30, 2012 issue of Toronto’s The Globe and Mail. On St. Patrick’s Day, the band will perform at the Center for Arts in Natick. Tickets are available through the band’s box office and website for $25. Other New England dates include the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on March 14 (free) and the Palace Theatre in Stafford Springs, Connecticut on March 15.

The Tossers: The Chicago-based Celtic punk rockers are on the road to celebrate their 20th anniversary and promote their new album, The Emerald City. The band will rock the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge on Wednesday, March 6, just a day after the release of their seventh studio album. They’ll be joined by hometown favorites Continental and The Gobshites. 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 9.

The Prodigals: Favorites at last year’s Boston Irish Festival, the New York-based rockers will return to the Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Canton on Saturday, March 9. Tickets for the show are available through the venue’s website for $18.

Paddy Saul: The Irish native calls Boston home and has quickly built up a strong following with good reason. The talented acoustic rocker’s latest album The Way The Blood Flows features special guest Liam Ó Maonlaí of the Hothouse Flowers on “Rock n Roll”. Joined by local favorites Will Dailey, Bow Thayer and Jeff Berlin, he’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a show at The Sinclair in Cambridge on Friday, March 15. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $15.

The Traditional Shows

Celtic Woman: Always a traditional St. Patrick’s Day favorite, the darlings of PBS are back for another tour of North America. Continuing to promote 2011’s Believe, the group’s current outing includes several stops in New England. They’ll hit Boston for a pair performances at the Citi Wang Theatre on Saturday, March 16. Tickets for each of the shows (3 and 8 p.m.) are available through Telecharge for $48.75 to $103.75. Other New England dates include the Mullins Center in Amherst on March 3, the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 17 and the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, Rhode Island on March 22.

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 eighth year, is a great mix of traditional and contemporary Irish music, song and dance. This year the event will take place one night only: Saturday, March 16 at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Tickets are sold out.

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. They’ll return to Boston for their annual show at the IBEW Hall in Dorchester on Saturday, March 2. You can also see them perform at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club in Springfield on Wednesday, March 13.

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 perform at the Malden Irish American Club on Friday, March 1 and the Ri Ra Irish Pub in Providence on Wednesday, March 6.

Solas: Referred by many as the “quintessential Irish-American band”, Solas are gearing up for the release of their forthcoming album, Shamrock City, The band’s eleventh studio album tells the story of Butte, Montana, a mining town at the turn of the 20th century, as seen through the eyes of an Irish immigrant. The story will be brought to life on tour with an interactive multi-media stage show that features stories from and projected images of Butte. The tour stops in Massachusetts for a performance at the Rogers Center for the Arts on the campus of Merrimack College on Friday, March 15. Tickets for the show are available in advance through the venue’s box office and website for $20. The band will also perform at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on March 14.

Dervish: The pride of Sligo are back with a brand new album, The Thrush in the Storm. The band will hit Massachusetts for a pair of performances at the Eagle Hill School Cultural Center in Hardwick on Saturday, March 9. Tickets for the shows (2:30 and 7:30 p.m.) are available through the venue’s box office and website for $30. Other New England dates include the Stockbridge Theatre in Derry, New Hampshire on March 7, the Strand Theater in Rockland, Maine on March 8 and the University of Hartford in Connecticut on March 23.

James Galway: The legendary “Man With the Golden Flute” is still going strong at 73-years of age. The Belfast native will bring his “Legacy” tour to Boston for an afternoon performance at Symphony Hall on Sunday, March 24. Tickets for the show, which is part of the Celebrity Series of Boston, are available through the venue’s box office and website for $40 to $95.

Sharon Shannon: Touring in support of her latest album, 2012’s Flying Circus, which was recorded with the RTE Concert Orchestra, the legendary Irish accordion player will conduct a brief stateside tour in March. She’ll kick it off in Massachusetts when World Music/CRASHarts welcomes her to the Somerville Theatre on Friday, March 8. Tickets for the show are available through the venue’s box office and website for $28.

Paul Byrom
: The former member of Celtic Thunder is regarded as one of Ireland’s best tenors and will soon film his first solo PBS special. Performing with piano accompaniment, you can see him live at the Center for Arts in Natick on Saturday, March 23. Tickets are available through the venue’s website and box office for $35.

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 Swaggerin’ Growlers, Long Time Courting, The Old Brigade, The Fenian Sons and Inchicore, just to name a few – all have gigs lined up, so be sure to check them out as well. Slainte!

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