The Minnesota Scots held their annual Tartan Week and one of the closing events was MN Tartan Rocks at the Varsity Theater.
Starting off the night was St. Paul band The Langer’s Ball. The Irish Punk (with a bit of steampunk flair) 5-piece band just release a new album “Whiskey Outlaws” and many of the songs were on their set list. Kicking of with “Jug of this” Langer’s ball came out guns blazing. While they are Celtic inspired singer Michael Sturm had this to say about writing songs “Sometimes they want to be Russian” introducing “Bottoms Up” or Napivatysya in Russian. I enjoyed their new material and as always The Langer’s Ball energy on stage was outstanding.
Set List: Jug of This / Whiskey Outlaws / As I roved out / The One / Whiskey Chaser / Bottoms Up / Mackey’s Daughter / Sword of Light / I am looking over a Four Leave Clover / Drinking for Two / God’s Gonna cut you down / Johnny, You’re a roving Blade / World turned upside down / Mick McGuire / Cork Dry Gin / Pigeon at the Gate
The second band was The Tim Malloys another local modern Celtic band who describe themselves as “Equal parts pub and post-punk folk”. Their opening song Big Countries “Field of Fire” took me a bit by surprise but certainly had its place on a Celtic playlist. There was a nice bit of good natured banter between band members. They brought a baby rattle as one of their instruments – first time I have seen this in close to 500 shows I have covered.
Set List: Fields of Fire / Star of the County Down / Turkish Song of the Damned / Red is the Rose / Flower of Scotland / Stretched on your Grave / Minstrel Boy / Sayonara / Tell me Ma / Song of the Dawn / Johnny Jump up / Queen or Argyle
This was The Tempest’s first time in Minnesota in quite a while. The San Francisco area Celtic Rock band opened with the instrumental “Sep Jig”. Their stage presence showed their experience. Band members interacted with one another quite a bit and there were some formations. Their set had the crowd dancing including a few “traditionally inspired” dancers who received compliments from the stage. The Tempest change tempo throughout their set with some softer reels intermixed with more lively number. Overall a great set by a veteran band.
Set List: Sep Jig / Heather / Willie / Leitrim / Fog / Ganesh / Mecca / Coffin / Dancing Girl / Bass / Eppy / Wizard / Crow / Nettles / Buffalo / Karfluki / Jaco High