Monday, May 15, 2006

Shamrockin' in Westport, May 13, 2006, the Elders and Seven Nations

A great evening, great music.

A wonderful day for a show. Great weather. Sunny, and a little on the cool side when it got dark, but not too bad. And I brought a coat to keep me warm if needed.

Curiously, though, I put my coat on during Seven Nations, and took it back off during the Elders. I think the Elders inspire me to dance harder. Or was I distracted by watching Kirk McLeod and Struby? (I had to research to get their names -- neither band introduced members last night -- of course, I know who the Elders are, and they did at least mention at least a couple band members names during the show.) Anyway, later during the Elders show I started getting cold, and then they started "Men of Erin". Great song but not one that's gonna warm me up. (Warm the soul maybe, but not the body.) So the coat went back on.

For those not yet familiar with the song, "Men of Erin" is a wonderful beautiful song that's a tribute to those who have gone before us. Elders lead singer Ian Byrne wrote it for (or inspired by) his Dad. Great beautiful song. And that's not just my opinion. It's a definite fan favorite, is my impression. But it's not a dance song. Not even a slow dance song.

But let me start at the beginning.

Okay, so, some schedule somewhere had the bag pipers playing at 6:30. Well, I arrived about 6:45, looking for a place to park, and saw them practicing in a parking lot. And after I got out of my car I could hear them playing "Men of Erin". In addition to enjoying the song, I thought, "cool, they're gonna join the Elders for that". Which they did.

Actually, I'm not being fair to the drummers. It was a group with both bagpipes and drums. And I did like the drummers. And then there was the lady drummer who had drumsticks with a big fuzzy mallet on the end, and she'd alternate between twirling them and hitting the drums. Very cool.

And I also remember thinking, hearing the drums, walking from my car, that the Elders hadn't ever (that I recall) had drummers join them with the bagpipers before on "Men of Erin". Just Ian and Tommy playing drums. (Though I can't vouch for shows I wasn't at, nor can I claim perfect memory.)

Anyway, back to the beginning. So, the pipe and drum corps start, sometime after 7 and play several songs. And I'm enjoying it. But I'm also thinking, the time they play is less time for Seven Nations and the Elders. But I did enjoy them. (Edited to add: Tullintrain West Pipe Band. :))

Next up, Seven Nations. Quite an enjoyable band. I enjoyed them from the start of the set, but it took a while into the set before I recalled why I wanted to see them as much as I did. Though that's not something I can put into words.

I most appreciated Kirk McLeod and Struby. Lead singer / guitarist (the band's only guitarist) and bass player. Not sure why. Not a girly crush kinda thing. Though I won't say they're unattractive. Anyway, when I post my pictures, you'll see I mostly took pictures of them two.

Then the pipers and drummers came back out for a short set. It looked like the Seven Nations were plugged into the Elders equipment, and they used the same drums, so not a major time consumming set up between sets.

Again, I quite enjoyed the bagpipers and drummers.

So, short break between bands, as well as entertainment during that break -- non stop music. I can handle that. :)

And then, the Elders!

Awesome show. And last Elders show I wasn't quite in a mental place to properly enjoy it fully, so I think that made this one even more sweet. Or maybe sweet's not quite the right word for an Elders show. But you get the basic idea.

Well, after the show some nice people gave me a set list (they had two :)), and so, with much help from that, here's what the Elders played.

Michael's Ride (I don't actually remember this one, but they always start with it, and, well, start of a show, it's so easy to be distracted by just enjoying the band and not notice what in particular they are playing, so I'm assuming they played it.)
Moore Street Girls
Racing the Tide
Haverty Boys
American Wake
Buzzz's Jig
Send A Prayer
Saint Kevin (I don't remember if they actually played this or not)
Bad Little Irish Boy
Need a Miracle (or whatever the full title is)
Story of a Fish
Love of the Century
Men of Erin
Right With the World
Fire in the Hole
Devil's Tongue

10 lb Earhole

You know, I like "Packy" better live. I think, as far as recordings, "Packy" may be my least favorite Elders song. Not that it's a bad song. Just less excellent. Live, I think "10 lb Earhole". Not that it's a bad song. Not that I'd leave early, knowing it's the last song. (Well, okay, I did at 2005's Shamrockin' in Westport, but, hey, Bob Walkenhorst was playing down the street.) The point of mentioning that is, the Elders don't have any bad songs. All their songs are great. Those are some pretty darn good least favorite songs.

I think the Elders played about 2 hours. They started after 9 pm, but they also went past 11.

A girl / young woman joined them on stage and danced to a couple songs, "Buzzz's Jigg" and I think "Turnpike".

And "Right With the World" is still my new favorite Elders song. And I do like that Steve and Ian and Brent all get to sing solo on it.

Joe Miquelon is a great keyboard player. I really like what he brings to the Elders. Different than Brett with his stellar accordion playing, but equally good, in my book.

And a slight change in the stage set up. Brent, Steve, Ian, and Norm (their microphones) equally spaced accross the front. So instead of Ian in the middle, it's two guys on either side of the middle across the front. With Ian's drum in the middle, between his and Steve's microphones. Joe Miquelon instead of being right up front, was to the back a little, kinda behind Norm, but more to the outside. Look at my pictures (some already posted in another thread, and the photo album I'll be posting later) to get an idea. Or other people's pictures, for that matter, if some of the other folks who took pictures share here. I think it's an improvement. Me like. :)

Anyway, it was a great show. Wonderful. Not just the Elders, but the whole thing. Okay, more portapotties would have been nice. But everything else was perfect. Even the weather.


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