Date: October 10th 2004
Opening Bands: Willie Nile & Jimmy Vivino
Venue: Irving Plaza, NYC
I never have been to a Saw Doctors show before until last night. Ive only started to listen to the band 2 years ago, when I started to get into every Irish band known to man. But after last night, I think I might be checking out the band more often because they put on one hell of a fun show!
The show started at 7pm and my friend Mike and I got to NYC way too early. We walked around the Virgin Mega Store, and got some NYC Pizza before the doors opened and killed time. We were the first on line for awhile until we realized Mike and I were on the wrong line. We were on the guest list and The Saw Doctors were nice enough to put us on there. We got into the club and the band gave us some VIP passes and we headed up to the VIP section. We got some drinks (that were expensive and very small), and watched the Hobbit on the TV until Willie Nile came on.
I never heard of Willie Nile before but his set was great! He sings and plays acoustic guitar, and had 2 others on stage with him. One guy played percussion and the other played mandolin and acoustic guitar. Willie Nile plays some upbeat folk rock songs, sort of a mixture between Billy Bragg and the Waterboys. He introduced the band members with him and one of them was Jimmy Vivino from the Max Weinberg 7/ Late Night with Conan O’ Brien. I thought he looked familiar. I went downstairs to hang out in the crowd and dance, take some pictures since the place didn’t really full up yet. Willie Nile played some of his songs like “You Gotta Be A Buddha (In A Place Like This),” “Beautiful Wreck Of The World,” and “History 101.” I liked his political songs but I also liked his tribute to the Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone who have passed away. He covered “Blitzkrieg Bop” and got the whole place singing and pogo-ing along to their awesome cover. It was a great way to finish off their opening set.
Next was The Saw Doctors, and this was their last show on their U.S. tour. They certainly got the place jumping with the opening song, “Tommy K” I wanted to take as many pictures as possible in the beginning because I wanted to go dance in the crowd later on. I don’t dance too often at shows anymore since I’m at the old age of 26. Plus my old man feet hurt me all the time but I had to dance the whole set to the Saw Doctors. I might regret it later with my feet but they put on such a fun set, I can’t imagine someone standing still for them. These guys played over 90 minutes and I didn’t even get to see the last few songs because I had to get up early the next morning for work. They played many songs that I love, such as: “Never mind the Strangers, “”It Won’t Be Tonight,” “Galway and Mayo,” “To win just once,” “Joyce Country Ceili Band,” “I useta Lover” and “N17.” Some songs went on longer than you hear on the Cds because the band was getting into the solos. I don’t normally like solos (for some reason, I don’t know) but the sax player, and the bass player rocked the solos. “Share the Darkness” & “Green and Red of Mayo” were beautifully played and the crowd was swaying, and even throwing up red and green flags. As I was watching the band, I was looking around and watching people in the crowd, just seeing them have a good time. Either drinking a shitload, dancing a lot, or both. I picked a bad spot to sit in the crowd because I must have been standing behind the tallest people in the club haha. Then later on, we moved back to the nears by the merch and I almost got trampled by the giant bouncers throwing some guy out. He wasn’t exactly cooperating with the bouncers and was getting thrown to the floor and the walls. That kind of scared the shit of me. You knew it was getting late when girls were falling on their asses drunk and people getting tossed out of the place.
The Saw Doctors played Irving Plaza, like 2 weeks ago, plus a bunch of other times in NYC in the last few months so I knew they were gonna have a great time performing that night since it was the last day of the tour. The fans certainly appreciated their music and showed it because they were cheering their heads off. At times, the guitar player Leo was saying to them that they were too loud. About 10:30, the band finished their set but the crowd wasn’t leaving. They wanted more and the Saw Doctors delivered. One of the songs they played was “Exhilarating sadness.” I had to leave after that song because it was getting late and Mike and I had to drive half hour north of the city, and then I had to drive 45 minutes back to my apartment. On the way home, in the middle of the Manhatten streets, a bunch of schmucks in suits were about to throwdown. We had to stop aruptly for these assfaces becasuse they wanted to beat each other up. I wanted my friend to drive right through them so they would learn their lesson next time. But who wants to deal with that whole “hit and run” thing ya know. Thankfully I didn’t fall asleep on the way home and made it home okay.
If you haven’t seen the Saw Doctors live, I highly recommend seeing them live. And if you can’t see them live, the next best thing is to buy the live DVD or CD “Live in Galway.”