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L.A. Beat

Mahones have a blast in Lethbridge

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Toronto based Irish punk band The Mahones made a long awaited and triumphant return to Lethbridge to play a packed Slice, Wednesday, May 17. They have been playing their own brand of intense Irish punk music for the past 27 years, but haven’t been to Lethbridge since 2015  when they were playing their official 25th anniversary tour in support of their new CD “The Hunger and the Fight Parts 1 and 2.Jared Albright and Finny McConnell of the Mahones at the Slice, May 17. Photo by Richard Amery
The have always been one of my top three favourite live acts to see and did not disappoint.

 Unfortunately Katie McConnell  was back home undergoing surgery so wasn’t able to play the show, but long standing  Mahones multi-instrumentalist Michael O’Grady, who usually plays tin whistle, added some wild accordion playing in her stead, though he also got to show off his whistle playing to introduce a song.

 Calgary multi-instrumentalist Jared Albright joined the Mahones for his third show on fiddle.
Finny McConnell, was a friendly and energetic frontman while fiddler Jared Albright gave the Mahones more of a folk flavour along with accordion player Michael O’Grady. Bassist Sean Riot Ryan and drummer Guillaume Lauzon were a lethal rhythm section together as Lauzon spun his sticks and thrashed away behind the kit.

I arrived early into the first set and the dance floor was already  bouncing with energetic dancers out for a good time.

 The Mahones always equal a good time. The first set included huge Celtic punk anthems like “Angels and Devils” and “Give it All you Got ( Or Forget About it),” older  fan favourites like “Down The Boozer” as well as slightly slower fare like “Stars (Oscar Wilde)  and “Paddy on the Railway” from the “Hunger and Fight Part One.”
The highlight of the night  for me was a hyperactive version of “One Last Shot” which I haven’t heard them play in years. I missed Katie “Kaboom” McConnell’s  background vocals and accordion, but  Michael O’Grade still blew me away on accordion.
 They end the first set with a great version of “Is This Bar Open Tomorrow?”

The second set featured plenty of  old favourites including the always amazing “Draggin’ the Days.”

They amped things up with one of my favourites from “the Hunger and the Fight Part 2, ” “Punk Rock Saved my Life,” then went back in time for “Across the U.S.A.”

Michael O’Grady got to take centre stage to sing an almost a capella version of traditional Irish classic “Danny Boy,” for which he showed off his voice as well as pipe playing.
They ended their show on a straight ahead punk note with a Celtic infused cover of the Ramones “I Want To Be Sedated.”

They ended the night just after midnight with the crowd pleasing signature song “Drunken Lazy Bastard.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 May 2017 11:04 )  
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