When Gaelic Storm hit stage at Mill City Nights on Friday evening, the pints and whiskey reserves were strained in ways the bartenders likely had not seen since the day before Prohibition. It was a mixed crowd and a packed house for the Celtic band from Santa Monica. The room was already buzzing before the show started. Green dresses and fire red beards were scattered amongst the crowd that all seemed to be accompanied by that heavy vibe that somebody was ready to smash a table or a bar stool in the name of a good time. It may have been single digit temps outside, but the atmosphere inside was warm and friendly.
Native Irishman Patrick Murphy took the stage along with the Gaelic Storm crew. The band consists of Steve Twigger, a self-taught guitarist hailing from England, the bagpiper and Irish whistle player from Canada Pete Purvis, the beautiful and talented fiddle player from Michigan Kiana Weber, and the drummer from Bakersfield Ryan Lacey. Together they formed a force of nature that had the crowd stomping and clapping along to grand tales sung to the timeless Celtic style that has been fermenting over hundreds of years. The late Irish folk singer Luke Kelly would have raised his glass in praise.
The bagpipe and the accordion blared through the strings and blended into Murphy’s heavily accented lyrics for an experience that brought you straight to a pub in southern Ireland. Between songs and whiskey shots, Murphy, like most Irishmen after a pint or five, would entertain the crowd with ramblings and tirades of stories past and Irish culture. The band played a phenomenal 15 song set. The talent behind each of the musicians was palpable, a true joy to behold, and the show’s energy stayed consistent — there was no slowing down.
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