Wow. Amazing. Those are just a couple of words concertgoers used to describe the May 2012 performance by Gaelic Storm the first time the group played in Jefferson City.
Now, mid-Missourians have another chance to see the band, one of the top-selling Billboard World Music Chart-ranked bands in the United States. They take the stage at the Miller Performing Arts Center on Aug. 28 at 8 p.m.
“The band’s unique fusion of traditional Irish instrumentation and tunes with high-energy rhythms and strong vocals make their shows one of the most entertaining live concerts you will ever see in Jefferson City,” says Allen Tatman, owner of Paddy Malone’s Irish Pub.
With catalog sales of more than $1 million, Gaelic Storm has had four consecutive albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard World Albums Chart. Their unique sound, which incorporates a rock sensibility, makes the band appealing to a wide audience with a range of musical tastes. In recent years, they’ve performed alongside groups ranging from the Zac Brown Band and the Goo Goo Dolls to Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett and at events as varied as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Milwaukee’s Summerfest.
Tatman’s relationship with the band goes back to the 2010 Irish American Heritage Festival in Chicago, when the former publisher of Midwest Irish Focus introduced him to the band’s Patrick Murphy. They learned they had mutual friends in the Irish music scene. Then, they explored the idea of bringing the band to Jefferson City.
“They are really great folks,” Tatman says. “Despite being one of the top bands on the Irish Music Festival circuit, where they play in front of huge festival crowds, they are down to earth and really appreciate the kind of reception that they receive when they come to a smaller venue like the Miller Performing Arts Center.”
According to Ryan Lacey of Gaelic Storm, the band’s first experience in Jefferson City was nothing but positive, and it was certainly one they are excited to repeat.
“The last time we played there, we were blown away, first by the people that came to the show and second by the hospitality that was shown to us,” Lacey says. “The smaller venues bring a certain intimacy that you can’t recreate in the bigger places, and we appreciate that. You almost have a private party type of atmosphere, which can get really fun.”
In addition to playing in front of a great crowd, the opportunity for Gaelic Storm to partner with Tatman is an exciting proposition in itself. Lacey says that on their last trip, Tatman made Jefferson City feel like home right from the start.
“His hospitality knows no limits, which can get pretty scary when he offers us an open tab at his bar,” Lacey says. “But seriously, he works his tail off, and he is really good at getting people in the door, so you have to tip your hat to the man. Allen is a legend in his own time. He is a fixture in the Irish music world, and we love him.“
And if the warm hospitality, electric energy and enthusiastic audience aren’t enough to make Gaelic Storm want to return for a repeat performance in Jefferson City, Lacey offers another reason.
“Being that some us are history buffs, [Jefferson City has] a capitol building that has a statue of Bob Barker’s head in it,” Lacey says. “How can we not want to come back?”
Tickets are available online at PaddyMalonesPub.com and at GaelicStorm.com.
Photos courtesy of Gaelic Storm