The Real McKenzies – B Complex, Portland, Or (FEBRUARY 28, 2003)

I’ve been really lucky as of late. Every gig I have wanted to see has been on a weekend. The Real McKenzies show was no exception. The funny thing was I had to be reminded about the show by my local barkeep! After work I went down to my local Public House, (The Liberator plug-plug) and had a pint of our local stout. I was starting to make plans for the night when the bartender reminded me about seeing “another fuckin’ Celtic punk show.” I had forgot completely about the gig! I pulled a 180 outta my current plans in the making, and changed them for the concert.

The show was at The B Complex. An all-ages venue a few blocks from The famous Burnside Skatepark. We got to the show late, and didn’t really care about the opening band, The Flipsides. As we walked into the place, it was obvious all the Real McKenzie fans were way out of place. A couple of punks in kilts pacing back and forth waiting for the “good band” to play, but not knowing how to kill time without a bar around. It was actually kind of funny to watch. You could almost hear them talking to themsevles, “no bar-no fun”, or “I need a pint!” As it turns out the Real McKenzies showed up late, (up the street drinking, maybe?) and because of the venue, they had to drink water of all things on stage!! The guys started out with the typical bagpipe-drum-guitar trio, and we all rushed up to the front of the stage like Highlanders at The Battle of Stirling Bridge!! I’m pretty sure most of the people there had never heard of the band before, (or if they did, they didn’t show it.) The band played the usual set, but included a few new songs, like “Get Lost”, and a couple others I didn’t catch the name of. (The Real McKenzies will be releasing a brand spanking new album “Oot & Aboot” this May.) By the end of the set it was obvious they had made some new fans, because the pit grew larger, and larger, with alot of kids not knowing the words, or the songs. They simply just enjoyed what they heard, and were getting into the music. That part I was happy about. The other thing I was happy about was seeing those kilted bastards play again. The part I wasn’t happy about was the location, the other bands on the ticket, and the lack of beer!

After the very short set. I stuck around a while to see the band, Rise Against. They were okay, but not a way to spend a Friday night, if ya know what I mean. I absolutely wanted to be long gone from The B Complex before the headliners, The Mad Caddies, took the stage! I really don’t like the music much. Mainly because they call their music, Pirate-punk. An incorrect title that is nowhere near hitting a bulls-eye. Sure, they have a song “Weird Beard” on the album “Rock The Plank”, that is Pirate material, but the rest of the album is not. (If I am missing something, please let me know.) And when you play in around these parts, you better have yer scallywag on, or it’s “off with yer bluddie head!!”

A job well done by the Real McKenzies. I just can’t wait for them to have a long set, where they are the headliners, because they sure as hell deserve it, way more than those “poser-pirate” Mad Caddy bastards!!

Review by “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

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