Date: March 15th 2011
Opening Band: Titus Andronicus
Band Link: www.pogues.com
If this is indeed the last Pogues tour (at least for awhile), then it was a good way to go out! I’m sure the band will continue to one-off shows but as a Pogues fan, you always have to treat their shows like it’s their last. Shane MacGowan and the rest of The Pogues are ending their Parting Glass Tour in New York City this week, with the last show on St Patrick’s Day, err sorry, “James Cagney Day.” The first night in New York was nice because there wasn’t much in terms of chaos and rowdiness. You just had stand there, dance in your spot and enjoy the music.
The doors to the venue opened at 7pm, with Titus Andronicus starting around 7:45pm. I’ve seen the band name being thrown around a lot lately, but I actually haven’t heard their music until very recently. I was walking back from the PATH in Jersey City one night from a show, I heard a band playing on top of the Iron Monkey. Apparently it was them recording a music video. They were chanting Devils (New Jersey), which put a sour taste in my mouth since I hate that hockey team with a passion.
The sour taste continued, but it wasn’t just me who felt that way since Titus Andronicus kept bringing up the Devils in the beginning of their set. The crowd was quickly turning on the band because of that, which I just had to laugh about. Musically, it’s hard to describe the style of Titus Andronicus. A mixture of indie rock, punk, and lo-fi noise. I didn’t mind the songs that didn’t drag on for too long or were played fast. They had good energy and tried their best to warm up the crowd. After awhile though, I just wanted to see the Pogues and I think the rest of the crowd felt the same way.
Based on the sheets listed around the venue, The Pogues were scheduled to come on at 9:15 but that wasn’t meant to be last night. They came on at 9:30, with the standard “Straight to Hell” from the Clash as their intro. I still get goosebumps when that song. This show was the 7th time seeing the Pogues and the band was certainly tight last night. Shane was in fine form, drinking water (?) and smoking most of the set. The rest of the band keeps the ship on course. It wasn’t even the second song yet, when Shane was trying to change things around on the set. Spider stirred him back on the right path a few times and kept saying, “if it ain’t on the list, it doesn’t exist.” I think there were fans in the crowd repeatedly trying to get them to play “Turkish Song of the Damned.” Guess that fan missed out on the several previous shows the Pogues have played over the years to hear it.
The Pogues setlist has been predictable but they do substitute a few songs here and there which is nice to see. This time they played tracks like “Boat Train,” “And The Band Waltzing Matilda” and one of my B-side favorites “London Girl.” I haven’t heard the last two live before so that was great to hear. The crowd certainly appreciated hearing “Waltzing Matilda.” The crowd was subdued last night for the most part, but it wasn’t until Mr. Philip Chevron got up there to sing “Thousands Are Sailing” that he got the crowd a little more into it. After that, I could see the crowd pushing more and dancing more. During “Repeal of the Licensing Laws,” James Fearnley, the accordion player, was jumping about like he always does. At one point, he jumped off of the stage monitors and landing on his knees…just a few inches away from the edge of the stage. He almost went into the photo pit and he knew it; you could see he was laughing about it with the band afterwards.
Towards the end of the set, the band played the always crowd favorite “Dirty Old Town,” “Bottle of Smoke” and “Sickbed of Cuchulainn.” The Pogues came back for 2 encores, the first encore featuring “Sally MacLennane,” “Rainy Night in Soho” and “Irish Rover.” Even if we don’t get to hear Fairytale during the Spring, at least we still get to hear “Rainy Night in Soho.” “Poor Paddy” and the always fun “Fiesta” ended the show. I just like to watch “Fiesta” and see Spider smacking his head with the beer tray. Can’t say too many bands do that, if any!
It was just nice to see a Pogues show where there weren’t too many idiots to ruin the show. Everyone just kept to themselves and enjoyed the show. It looked like the band was enjoying the show as well. My favorites of the night included “If I Should Fall From Grace With God,” “Tuesday Morning,” “Lullaby of London,” “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” “Thousands Are Sailing,” “Rainy Night in Soho” and “Fiesta.” I would be sad if this was the last Pogues show I saw, but at the same time I would be glad I got the chance to see them & shoot their shows so many times over the years. Get out to see the Pogues before it’s too late! If you miss them in the States, you can always fly to Europe to see them perform at various festivals this Summer.
Special Thanks to Philip Chevron as always! See some photos from the show below…
If I Should Fall from Grace with God
Broad Majestic Shannon
Pair of Brown Eyes
Lullaby of London
Sunnyside of The Street
Repeal of the Licensing Laws
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Body of an American
Thousands Are Sailing
Dirty Old Town
Bottle of Smoke
The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn
Rainy Night in Soho
The Irish Rover