St. Patrick’s Day 2021: 8 streaming shows for Irish fans
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The implications of COVID-19’s rapid spread still hadn’t sunk in when St. Patrick’s Day dawned last year on March 17. With county health departments across the state starting to issue shelter-in-place orders the usual parades, concerts and parties were mostly cancelled or dampened in spirit. But other states had yet to lock down, and Californians experienced the odd sensation of watching social media posts and news footage of typical alcohol-fueled revelry in cities like Chicago, Boston, and Houston.
As St. Patrick’s Day approaches one year later we’re once again warily watching less constrained folks in other states (hello, Texas!), and hoping that last week’s announcement that live entertainment seems to be gradually resurfacing — at least outdoors — bodes well for the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t safely celebrate right now with a song and a raised glass.
There’s no shortage of Irish and Irish-adjacent music performances on tap that can be enjoyed from home. Here’s a partial listing of some of the streaming music shows available in California and beyond.
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The Black Brothers
Hailing from one of Ireland’s most distinguished musical families, brothers Michael and Shay Black perform from Berkeley as part of Freight & Salvage’s At Home concert series, playing Dublin street songs, historical ballads, music hall ditties, and songs from the Irish, English, and Scottish traditions. The show will be streamed twice. Details: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. March 17; a donation of $10 or more gets you access; thefreight.org.
The Black Brothers Band is also the headliner in an International St. Patrick’s Day Celebration March 13, presented via Zoom, featuring music, storytelling and presentations on Irish culture. Other performers include Niamh Parsons & Graham Dunne (12:30 p.m.) and Sock in the Frying Pan (1:15 p.m.). Black Brothers stream at 6 p.m. Details: 12:30-8 p.m. March 13; $10-$20; on.zoom.us/h/americeltic.
L.A.’s favorite Celtic punk band lives streams from Whelan’s Irish Pub in Dublin, rekindling their traditional St. Patrick’s Day concert tradition after last year’s last-minute cancelation. The band is also playing an exclusive acoustic session with virtual meet-and-greets, and is offering an impressive variety of band swag. Details: 8 p.m. March 17; $15-$65 main concert, 75-$150 acoustic and VIP sessions; floggingmollylive.com.
Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros
A founding member of the Grateful Dead, guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir celebrates St. Patrick’s Day from TRI Studios in San Rafael with his new band the Wolf Bros, featuring bassist Don Was, drummer Jay Lane, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and Greg Leisz on pedal steel, with special guests The Wolf Pack (Alex Kelly, Brian Switzer, Adam Theis, Mads Tolling and Sheldon Brown). Details: 6 p.m. March 17; $19.99-$24.99; bobweir.net/#!
The winner of NPR’s second Tiny Desk contest in 2016, folk singer/fiddler Lea alternates between her original songs and favorite Irish tunes, livestreaming from her home in Duluth via Zoom (which includes a post-concert audience hangout and Q&A). Details: Noon March 20; $5-$25; https://violinscratches.com/patreon.
Kavanaugh Brothers Celtic Experience
Live-streaming from The Art Boutiki in San Jose, the sibling-led Kavanaugh Brothers Celtic Experience marks the holiday with a rollicking repertoire of Irish rebel music and songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, and others. Details: 8:30 p.m. March 17; free but registration required; www.facebook.com/KavanaughBrothers.
After spending 2020 under wraps, the Santa-Monica-pub-band-turned-Irish-music-juggernaut Gaelic Storm kicks off its 25th year with “One for the Road,” a two-hour live-stream featuring original songs and traditional pub anthems. Details: 5 p.m. March 17; $22; www.gaelicstorm.com.
The turbo-charged Celtic punk band live-streams a hometown show from Boston, a pass-the-hat performance for which they’re requesting viewer donations “so the band can continue to pay their crew and expenses until in-person events resume.” Details: 4 p.m. March 17; free but donations encouraged; www.dropkickmurphys.com.