While the Newport has seen more than its fair share of mosh pits and crowd surfers, Gaelic Storm changed it up by spurring drunken attempts at Irish jigs at its show on Saturday.
The Santa Monica, CA based Celtic band created an atmosphere in the venue that felt more like a house party than a concert, and it was well received by the audience. The band kicked off the concert with “Raised On Black and Tans,” which celebrates the well-known Irish drinking culture and had everyone singing along and raising their beers.
The songs were fun and ensured that there was never a dull moment throughout the concert, but the most impressive thing about the concert was the instrumental talents among the band members. Each member played multiple different instruments during the show in the traditional Celtic style, and no one seemed to fall off or clash at any point. Kiana Weber, a University of Michigan graduate, performed such incredible solos on the fiddle that the rivalry between our schools became irrelevant.
In addition to the fun atmosphere and great songs, there was personal feeling brought to the show by vocalists Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger. On multiple occasions, Murphy recognized people in the audience that were at the previous night’s show in Cleveland. He also helped a few audience members celebrate their birthdays by bringing them up on stage, including a 9-year-old boy who was fittingly named “Jameson.”
At one point Twigger mentioned that only one of the songs they played in the previous six was actually on the set list, which made the show seem like a jam session that the audience was lucky enough to be a part of. The band members had a genuine energy that made them very amusing to watch. Murphy said it was there 162nd performance in Ohio, but the band had enough energy that it felt like they were playing in a brand new city.
The show wrapped up with the band climbing up on the bar to finish their last song, which Murphy said was a tradition for them at the Newport. It was a tight fit with the low ceiling but it was a great way to complete a concert that made you want to dance on a table.