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St. Patrick Strikes Back

March 20, 2007

WARNING: Long.

This past Saturday, for those of you who remained blissfully unaware, was St. Patrick’s Day. Normally I barricade myself in my home and try to weather this alcoholic storm in as stoic a manner as possible. Boycotting a holiday is akin to dropping a pebble in the Pacific ocean in that neither is a very good way to make waves, but I do it anyway. This year, however, was something of an exception—well, not “something of an exception,” it was an exception. Some of my friends—of whom you’ve undoubtedly heard me speak—were playing at the Mountain Sun that evening. Under the nom de guerre Lilt, Jon, Jessie, Adam, and Jeff played a rousing show along with their friend from Ireland, Martin O’Brien. But before that, disaster…


Rich and I had shown up early at the Sun in order to secure ourselves a good spot for the show and to fill our bellies with food and beer. Just as we finished eating, my phone rang; it was Jon.

“Hey, Evan. You’ve got a concertina, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Would it be possible for us to borrow it?”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Cool. Martin’s concertina is having some trouble and we might not be able to fix it.”

“OK.”

Or something like that. About five minutes later my phone rang again; this time it was Jessie. She said they definitely needed my concertina. Now at this point we weren’t completely certain whether or not my concertina would cut the mustard or not; I never really learned how to play it or much about the instruments in general, so I described it as best I could, but was at a loss when it came to some of Martin’s questions about the instrument. So we decided it was best to just go and see if it would work or not.

Off we went to my apartment in South East Boulder. Martin took one look at the thing and new it wasn’t the right kind; he played a couple notes and was sure. Bummer. Back out to the car we go. As Jessie is loading her fiddle back in the trunk Martin walks over to me and hands me a CD—a copy of his CD—and says, ‘thanks.’ I looked at him stunned. “Are you sure?” I said. He said he was. I said,”but it didn’t even work out. The concertina’s no good to you.” He said that was alright, he appreciated it anyway. Wow. To my mind that is one of the most generous gifts someone can give me.

So we left my apartment bound for Jessie’s place in West Boulder; Martin was going to hang out there for a bit and then maybe come to the Sun later for the show. They both went inside while I sat guarding the car. After a few minutes I saw Jessie walking back toward the care. She did not, however, go to the driver’s side; rather, she walked up to my door, opened it and told me I might want to come inside as they had just gotten a call back from Michael Reed, a concertina player in Boulder.

Off we went again, to North Boulder this time, to the home of Michael Reed. There, I again stayed in the car, defending Jessie’s fiddle against a marauding pack of rabid ninjas. Apparently Michael could not repair the concertina then and there, but was amazingly kind enough to lend Martin his concertina! So, concertina in hand, we returned to the Mountain Sun.

The five of them, joined periodically by a bodhran player I recognize from Conor’s but whose name escapes me, put on an amazing show. They played until 2:00 am and every moment was utter bliss for me. I have not the words to describe their shows ever, and this one was better than any I had seen. They even had a guy running sound for them, so the sound was always pretty well balanced.

Afterwards, as is becoming my habit, I stuck around to help lug¹ gear out to the car. Once we got everything packed up and moved out of the Sun they started talking about what they were going to do next. Somewhere along the line I was invited to tag along to whatever they ended up doing—I think as much because I was sober enough to drive as because they wanted me to come, but that’s fine by me. After some rowdiness and general carousing on the streets² while the last little financial details of the evening were worked out, we—minus Adam and Sarah, sadly—headed off to this fellow Troy’s place. There, we played some video games, ate some frozen pizza³, and I watched Jessie and Jon wrestle on the floor of the living room.

The last hiccup of the night came at about 5:30 am when I arrived home after dropping off the others. I hadn’t anything in my trunk that I wanted to bring in that night, but still I had this feeling that I should check the trunk. Lo and behold, a shoulder bag containing one Apple laptop. In a fit of bad judgment I phoned Jessie in the hopes that she hadn’t fallen asleep yet to let her know that someone had left their bag in my car—I knew it wasn’t Jon’s bag, and Martin and Jeff were couch-surfing at Jessie’s that night. Martin and Jeff had both crashed already, so it had to wait ’til morning, when I received a call from Jeff and he swung by to pick up his computer.

Best St. Patrick’s Day ever.


¹ According to Red Octane, “lug” is the correct term for moving musical equipment at a concert. That, or “schlepp”.
² This consisted of a lot of dancing, some gymnastics, and a modicum of Capoeira.
³ The pizza itself was no longer frozen, but had been baked in an oven. It had, however, previously been frozen, hence the term “frozen pizza”.

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One comment

  1. your writing is fun to read. asail me with tails!



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