When I was in high school back in Hawaii, one afternoon my tech theatre teacher asked if anyone was going to go see Gaelic Storm.
“No, what kind of music do they play?” we asked.
“Irish music,” he replied. None of us were terribly impressed until he continued, “They’re that band from the party scene in Titanic.”
That changed everything, and we couldn’t get tickets fast enough. Now, nine years later, I’m still a fan. I’ve been to two of their concerts (two years in a row in Hawaii), have all six of their CDs (one of the signed!), and several T-shirts (again, one of them is signed).
I’ve tried to keep up with the band over the years. I’ve bought every new album, kept track of the how the band has changed (which is a lot; for some reason they go through fiddle players like mad), and kept an eye on their tour schedule. Sadly, they’ve never some near Spokane.
Never, that is, until last night.
A couple of weeks ago, Morah and I were in Clarkston visiting her mom. As we were driving back from our fourth trip to Home Dept that day (it wouldn’t be our last), out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the words, “Gaelic Storm” on a billboard.
“WHA?!” I exclaimed.
I was excited to discover that they were coming to Dogwood Festival in Lewiston, ID (which, if you don’t know the geography, is literally a stone’s throw away from Clarkston, as long as you’re standing at the border). I was going to bum around Spokane this weekend or go up to my parents’ cabin, but there was no way I was going to miss seeing Gaelic Storm again.
Morah, unfortunately, was in Kennewick for a seminar or conference or something.
So last night, Morah’s mom and I went to the show, which was awesome as usual. They tried to get people to dance, and I wanted to, but the only people who danced were a group of pre-teen girls who actually knew what they were doing (they were trained in Irish Dance) and girl who I think had ADHD. The Irish dancing was cool, but the girls couldn’t break away from pre-rehearsed dances, so they couldn’t improvise at all and only did a couple of routines before sitting down again. The girl with ADHD was, no joke, all over the place. Her boyfriend was embarrassed and refused to dance with her (I told him it was the price, and he agreed with me, but I don’t blame him for not wanting to dance with her). Alas, no one else danced (actually, ADHD girl did manage to yank one guy out of the audience, but as soon as they dance near his seat again, he quickly sat back down). Back in Hawaii, tons of people would dance. None of us really knew what we were doing, but at least we were having fun doing it. Even without the dancing, I had a great time singing along with all of the songs.
One thing that the band has always done is announce which bar they’re going to after the show. Now obviously, back in high school, I couldn’t go hang out with the band at the pub. Now that I’m old enough, I couldn’t be stopped from going.
While we were waiting, I decided to order a pint of Guinness. Friends, family, and long-time readers will know that I don’t have a taste for beer. I’ve never liked it, even though I wish I did (it really would make life easier sometimes). I am proud to say that, not only did I finish the entire pint, but I didn’t hate it. Needless to say, I was quite pleased with myself.
The band showed up and we told them what a great time we had. I mentioned to Steve and Patrick that I hadn’t seen them in eight years.
“Where did you see us eight years ago?” Patrick asked.
“In Hawaii in ’98,” I replied.
“Jesus!” he exclaimed, “Really?”
Patrick seemed genuinely impressed. They were really nice and thanked me for coming to the show and being such a big fan. I’ll have to be sure to keep checking Gaelic Storm’s website so I can see them the next time they come to the region.
It was a late night, and to make it to the concert, I had to miss the A T. rex Named Sue media party in Spokane (where I would have been highly lauded for creating the SueCam), but it was definitely worth it.