Saw Doctors have the cure for rainy night

A review of the Saw Doctors at the Lowell Summer Music Series on Thursday, August 7, 2008

, Managing Editor

The Saw Doctors "brought the weather" with them for their show in Lowell last Thursday. The gig at the Lowell Summer Music Series was the first of their American tour as they arrived in the States from Ireland to be met with the same rain that they left back home. Unfortunately the show was moved inside to Lowell High School but the band brought enough energy to brighten everyone’s day.

The Saw Doctors took the stage to a wacky funhouse-like intro with their Irish eyes smiling then started the night off with "Macnas Parade" as the crowd wondered whether to sit or stand in the somewhat awkward setting. The band fittingly played "Will It Ever Stop Raining?" before announcing, "it’s nice to be back in school!". "Tommy K", along with its amusing dance, entertained following "We May Never Get to Say Goodbye Again", as guitarist Leo Moran shuffled excitedly from side to side of the stage in his pointy shoes. Moran was jokingly fanned off by his band mates before they got back to work with "She’s Got It".

Next, the band gave Lowell a taste of Ireland with "Green and Red of Mayo", "Galway and Mayo" and "Maroon and White Forever" describing their beautiful homeland. Fans belted out "Green and Red" while people danced in the corners of the auditorium during "Galway and Mayo". The latter featured multi-instrumentalist Anthony Thistlethwaite putting down his bass and picking up a harmonica for a solo during the song’s bridge. Moran introduced "Maroon and White" by discussing the upcoming Galway/Kerry championship match in Gaelic football before putting on a passionate performance as fans waved the Galway flag. &

"Your Guitar" and "Wisdom of Youth", off the band’s most recent studio album The Cure, sandwiched "All the Way From Tuam", a tune referencing the group’s hometown. The Doctors took the foot off the gas with "Wisdom of Youth" but the fun was back with the humorous "Chips" which the band closed with some amusing synchronized moves.

Oddly enough, it was a slower song that finally got the majority of the crowd to let loose and leave their seats. "Clare Island" started with the crowd swaying while Davy Carton let them take the lead for the first verse. Later, Thistlethwaite would don a beatnik wig and sunglasses as he busted out a sax solo before a dance party formed in front on the stage.

As the dancing continued through songs such as "That’s What She Said Last Night" Carton proved to be right as he proclaimed, "there’s no turning back now". "This Is Me" preceded "Bless Me Father", which satisfied many fans as requests for the track had been shouted throughout the set, before the band appropriately exited after "I’ll Be On My Way".

The Saw Doctors encore was fantastic as they treated their diehard fans to seven more songs instead of the usual one or two. The love song "Red Cortina" started the encore before the highlight of the night came with "N17". Moran announced that the latter song would be dedicated to a couple whose car broke down in Boston on the way to the show and were forced to take the train to Lowell, not knowing how they would return home- a clear example of how dedicated and adoring the Saw Doctors fans are.

While the band wasn’t able to match the thrill of "N17" they came quite close with "Hay Wrap" as keyboardist Derek Murray grabbed a guitar and showcased some fancy fretwork while the crowd jigged along. The Irishmen then ended their set with a joyous sing-along, as "I Hope You Meet Again" suddenly shifted to the coda of "Hey Jude". The Saw Doctors left the stage as the "Na Na Na Na’s" were still ringing out, ending their two-hour set in grand fashion.

The Saw Doctors showed no sign of jet lag during their lively show. Exhibiting so much joy and wit as they made each performance charming. Local group Boston Blackthorne opened the show with more traditional Irish music while many fans made their way to the show from the nearest bars.

Although you missed a great show, have no fear if you couldn’t catch the band in Lowell. The Saw Doctors will be down the Cape on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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