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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Celtic Rock show in FoCo: The Indulgers

2 hours of free live Celtic rock music, 2 blocks from my apartment? And free cupcakes? Couldn't ask for a better deal. And, while the Indulgers don't have any bodhran-players, and did not bring bagpipes or whistles into this evening's show, they somewhat made up for my missing the Young Dubliners when they were in the area back in March. (Yes, I am still grumbly at myself for missing that show, and the High Kings back in August. Clearly I need to pay more timely attention to local music events.) The Indulgers rely more on original songs instead of the reworked traditional stuff the Young Dubliners do so beautifully, but they are a very similar sound otherwise. And I always like hearing good new songs- traditional stuff is cool but I hate to think that we have lost the ability to write new songs that stand up to the quality of traditional ones.
Walking back from trying to obtain a soccer ball from a friend's house (unsuccessfully) I discovered that there was a stage being set up on the grass on CSU's campus, literally 2 blocks from home. And, the music they had on during the set-up was an Irish reel. So I headed back home, changed my shoes, grabbed my camera, and went back for the show. It started late, thankfully- they were having issues with feedback during their soundcheck, which were not quite resolved by the time they gave up and started the show. So, even though I got there about 10 minutes late, I had time enough to find a spot on the grass and settle in before they started. I sat in the back initially, on a little hill, where I could read my book in peace, but the lead singer, Damian McCarron, had to mention that there were free cupcakes up at a booth next to the stage, and a few songs into the show I had to relent and go get me a cupcake.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Land Grant act, which established Colorado State University, among other things. Thus the cupcakes, and of course they were green because CSU's colors include green.
Most reasonable grown-ups, at least the kind that tote lawn chairs and picnic baskets along for concerts like these, tend to sit further back. After all, if you sit too close it gets VERY LOUD. So there was plenty of room on the grass right up front, not far from the free cupcakes. So, as seems to be becoming the norm now, I sat in the very front row for the majority of the show. Thus, in the pictures where it looks as if one of the guys on the stage was looking straight at me, they probably were, wondering at the strange woman in the orange hat, taking pictures of grass and cupcakes and reading a paperback book at a rock concert.

The band today was The Indulgers, a local Celtic rock group. Damien McCarron, the lead vocalist, is originally from Dublin, and definitely still sports a bit of an accent, especially when talking about whiskey. Renee Fine, on fiddle, and Mike Nile, on guitar and mandolin today, carried most of the instrumental songs, always with a nice percussion and bass backing (Aaron Haywood - Bass, and Frannie "Cheech" Mannone - Drums). And, while their website barely mentions him yet, this show also included Ryan Bunnell, the group's newest, and I am guessing youngest member. Ryan unfortunately lurked just behind the speaker, from where I was sitting, so most of my pictures show just the bright green of his pantlegs, but this guy would be the one teenage girls would go for- long blond hair, not bad-looking, and plays electric guitar. Not my type, at all, really, but I already have my allegiances set by now anyway.
It was a fun show, mostly original songs, and I was really wishing I knew how to dance jigs and reels by the second or third song in. The only familiar traditional song they did that I knew already, "Whiskey in the Jar", blended in nicely with their own songs. There were a few couples that took advantage of the open grass right up front for dancing, and there were lots of kids dancing and running around quite happily up front, getting quite puffed up and excited every time Damian commented on their lovely dancing. ( I found the lone ~13yr old boy particularly amusing- he obviously wanted to dance and play with his little brother, but just as obviously realized he was the only kid his age uncool enough to join in up front. So he did what any decent self-respecting boy would under such conditions- he danced on his knees, so he looked as short as his brother and the other kids.)

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