Opening Bands: Noelie McDonnell
Date: March 3rd 2006
Venue: Irving Plaza, NYC
This was the third time seeing the Saw Doctors, the Irish rockers from Tuam. After seeing them live for the first time at Irving Plaza a year and half ago, I can’t get enough of the band live. Their shows are a rockin’ good time and they always put on a fun show. Lately, the band has been playing NYC so much that I can’t get to see them every time. Plus each show sells out, which is great for the band and can see why they keep returning to New York City. I had to go see them again and support them since their new album, “The Cure” is being released in the States March 14th.
My twin brother Matt, his girlfriend Michelle (who weren’t Saw Doctors fans but are now because of moi) and I got to the venue fairly early and waited online up front with the other faithfuls. I knew it was gonna be a packed house so I wanted to get their earlier enough to get a good spot. I got a good spot upstairs on the left hand side of the stage, overlooking the crowd. I didn’t know who was opening for the Saw Doctors until the group came on stage. It was fellow Irish folk rocker, Noelie McDonnell, who the Saw Doctors brought on tour with them. Leo of SD came out and introduced the band and as soon as the band started to play, I knew I was gonna like these guys. Noelie had a really good, distinctive voice and the band had a similar sound to the Saw Doctors…just more folkier. I enjoyed the set so much that I wanted to support them and bought their self-titled album. Some of the songs that I recognize from the CD were “Stars,” “Marrakech,” “Walkin’ On” and “New York City.” I thought they played “New York City” the best because it was so upbeat and got the crowd moving. I’m trying to think who Noelie sounds like the most. He almost sounds like an Irish Colin Hay from Men At Work. Actually, I think that’s a pretty good comparison. I just thought that was a great band to open for the Saw Doctors. Definitely check out these guys because you’ll be hearing about them more in the future.
After Noelie McDonnell, the band that the sold out crowd was there to see was up. The Saw Doctors took the stage and started to get the crowd moving with a few favorites like “N17,” “It Won’t Be Tonight” and “To Win Just Once.” I have a bad memory so I don’t remember EVERY song they played but who would want a concert review where you just list every song the band played. That would be boring wouldn’t? Since their new album is coming out this month, they played quite a few from that including my favorite off that album, “Me Without You.” I think that song will quickly become a crowd favorite once people know the words to it. I’ve had the album for months (don’t ask how) so I knew a lot of the songs & words. Other people still danced along to the band, while I bopped by head back and forth & sung along to the tunes. I’ll be honest, the new album has a lot of slower songs and i’m still getting used to them. In the middle of the set, they got in a slow song groove for awhile and while the songs sounded great, I wish they played some of the more upbeat songs. I love the song “Galway and Mayo” but I get bored when they stop in the middle of the song to “talk football.” They kind of ruin the song that way. I’m glad they played “Share the Darkness” because it’s one of my favorite slow songs that they do. Other songs that I remember that they played that night were “Wake Up Sleeping,” “Never Mind the Strangers,” “Claire Island”, “Tommy K,” and “I Use To Love Her.” Off the new album they played “Addicted,” “Out For A Smoke” and “Stars Over Cloughanover.” The last song they played of the set was “I’ll Be On My Way” and I like that song because it’s got a ska upstroke to it.
Before the encore, my brother kind of got in a little bit of a tiff with some stupid lady. The whole night we had people standing over shoulders, right on top of us, since we got great spots near the stage. I was pissed and wanted to kick them the whole night so I decided to dance in place and move my head around so they don’t have a clear view all the time. I love being a prick when it’s necessary. I guess Matt & Michelle had it worse because these fat ladies where sitting right on top of them, touching their asses and cackling in their ears the whole night. So I would have been pissed too. After the Saw Doctors got off the stage, the people stepped back for a few minutes and Matt said something along the lines “ahh 400 pounds has been lifted off me finally” and the woman got into his face and was yelling “we’re all just trying to have a good time” yadda yadda yadda. I turn around and see this bitch yelling into his ear and my brother arguing back that she’s not giving him space, and then she responds that we are sticking our butts out. I guess another fat slob got into his face as well and the band was coming on, and he just put his hand up and said “ok, shut the fuck up! The band is coming on!!” and we turn around and pretend nothing happened and kept dancing in place. I thought we were ready to get slugged by some drunk husband but I was ready for it it was gonna happened. Though, I didn’t feel like spending a night in jail for standing at a concert and having some schmucks right up our asses. If you want to hang on people and “have a good time,” go the fuck down in the crowd where everyone is drunk and dancing. The balcony is for people who want to actually watch the band and not have to listen to some stupid soccer moms from Long Island kibitzing in someone’s ear the whole night. I really hate people sometimes, which is why I try not to go out to concerts too much anymore.
ANYWAY, the Saw Doctors came back and opened the encore with “Last Summer in New York” and then played 3 other songs for the crowd! A cover of “Bang a Gong,” then played a song I never heard them play live before “Michael D. Rocking In The Dail.” That song was great to hear because the end is like a tongue twister. The last song of the encore was “Joyce Country Ceili Band.” We left towards the end of that song to get out early before the crowd let out. I’m not sure if they came back to play another encore but disappointed they didn’t play some of the songs I really like “Exhilarating Sadness” and “What A Day.” I think the band could have played some faster songs but they still were very good live. Definitely check them out live while there still over here touring. They will be back at Irving Plaza, NYC- May 11th..so be there!