Celtic Sojourn has a feast of Irish music and dance lined up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. (Photo Matthew Muise Photography)
Fiddles! Jigs! Songs about losing wooden legs!
St. Patrick’s Day comes with loads of music. And – outside of Ireland – there’s no better place to hear that music than in Boston this weekend. Traditional to unhinged, intimate to awesomely overwhelming, the sonic scene will be bursting with Irish or Irish-adjacent acts of all stripes and colors. Sorry, make that all stripes and one color: green.
A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn
Now through March 19, various locations and online
GBH’s Brian O’Donovan is facing cancer but, with luck and good medicine, will hopefully be able to play host for some of his annual St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn run. And what a run it will be. Celebrating Celtic artistic traditions from music to dance, these shows will feature singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy, Uilleann piper Joey Abarta, guitarist and vocalist Eamon O’Leary, Irish fiddler champ Kevin Burke, Boston native and fiddler Katie McNally, and more. Celticsojournlive.com
March 16 – 19, MGM Music Hall & House of Blues
The Dropkicks annual run of St. Pat’s shows has only gotten bigger. This year it’s four shows at the new MGM Music Hall and one at the House of Blues. That translates to nearly 20,000 tickets – plus the March 17 show will be live streamed. The tradition thrives not because of habit, but because the hometown heroes continue to put out perfect punk rock and put on outrageously entertaining shows. dropkickmurphys.com
St. Patrick’s Irish variety show
March 17 & 18, the Burren Backroom, Somerville
Why do one thing to celebrate the holiday when you can do all the things to celebrate the holiday? Irish folk music aces Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello host a dozen shows almost back to back between Saturday morning and Sunday night. Each show features special guests including Irish Step Dancers and a traditional Irish meal of Corned Beef & Cabbage or Guinness Beef Stew with Soda Bread (a vegetarian option is available) topped off by Burren Shamrock Cake. 24hourconcerts.showare.com
March 18, Chevalier Theatre, Medford
The most Gaelic band ever to come out of Santa Monica moves east for March squall. Don’t know the Celtic kings? Imagine finding the exact middle ground between the Dropkicks and the Chieftains. Folk, folk rock, and rock but never too far from classic Irish pub music. chevaliertheatre.com
March 18, House of Blues
Want a next generation Irish act without the fiddles and jigs? Bono’s son has a band – and it’s good, very good. Elijah Hewson and his mates make music that nods at the Killers and The War on Drugs, stuff that sits right between mainstream pop and weird, dreamy, jagged experiments. Don’t take my word or Bono’s. Take Harry Styles and Arctic Monkeys – both of whom have toured with the group. inhaler.band