July 27, 2010
Just around the corner from Boston’s North Station and the home of The Celtics and The Bruins, is McGann’s Pub. Although only average-sized in square footage, the place is laid out perfectly for a show like tonight’s.
The first act to go on was a single guy with an acoustic guitar. There was no fear of any James Taylor-like smooth and/or mellow stylings though, as the guy was Chris Skel, helmsman of New Jersey pub punk act, The Skels. With just his axe and his voice, he created a huge noise off of that stage! His set included a track or two from the Skels catalog, true, but the bulk of it came from his solo material. For those unaware, Chris has put out two solo project CD over the last eighteen months, so he had plenty of great material to choose from. (Look for a review of his newest 6-track EP, “Sudden Psalms” here soon!) Chris set the pace well and got the crowd on their feet.
Up next, (or ‘again,’ since they did the sound check earlier with some killer stuff!), was Rick Barton and The Continental. Rick Barton, a familiar face in this type of venue as the former guitarist for the Dropkick Murphys, assembled this new project with himself in the guitar and lead vocals role, (and his son on the bass.) An incredible performance from these guys, tight and sharp, with some fantastic guitar solos from his lead guitarist. (Oh, and an excellent rendition of DKM’s The Torch, by the way!)
The third band in the line-up was The Gobshites, who somehow manage to show up and play at every show I see in Boston!
Pete and the gang jumped right into action and proved, once again, to possess the largest catalog of drinking songs in the free world!
Apparently on a first-name basis with every member of the audience, the band’s conversational banter and audience participation portion, (which included alternating readers for the limericks, and some masterful beer-tray playing,) brings Gobshites’ sets as close to an open seisiún as punk rock gets.
The headliners, of course, were The Mahones. The band were in the midst of celebrating their twentieth anniversary tour, and a festive mood was running amok!
Unfortunately, the band was playing as a four-piece, without their mandolinist. As a mandolin player myself this was a bit of a let down, but the band seemed to compensate by selecting songs from the higher-energy end of their catalog! This was probably for the best, and the mood of the crowd was perfect for these tunes.
Tight, clean and in top-notch form, The Mahones blasted out a great set deep into the evening.
By the time the music had died down, the Newcastles and Patron were making their presence known to me. Fearless and bulletproof, I was feeling pretty good. The show, though, was a great time for all, and another huge success for Shite ‘n’ Onions.
Thanks a bunch to S’n’O’s John Murphy, for another fantastic show!
Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel