A Star City’s Concert Flaunting Four-Leaf Clovers: St Patrick’s Day at the Bourbon Theatre with The Killigans
Every dedicated agent here at Nebraska Realty fully recognizes that the last two years have been a bit tough, to say the least. During 2022 as a taste of rekindled freedom begins to resonate with Lincoln residents that feel like being festive and getting out to mingle, we wanted to send one of our own to provide the inside scoop on one of the year’s most fun and talent-rich events: The Killigans taking the stage with Vandon Arms, Flatfoot 56, and Aaage Birch at the beautiful Bourbon Theatre right in Downtown Lincoln!
We even sampled a batch of awesome treats with a little Guinness beforehand, and 40-degree temperatures and somewhat dreary skies made us think of days in Dublin, crowded pubs, pints of Haarp, and just how awesome it is to have A-list acts such as these performing right in our backyard. These are the local legends who have been celebrating St Paddy’s day with a bang for decades and have been singing about run-down tenements, war-torn pastures, and long-last love while pouring their hearts out. The Killigans have also had their tunes used by both the Husker football and volleyball teams to boot, and enjoy every second on stage spreading the homegrown pride that buying a home right here in Nebraska instills in every new resident!
We had the opportunity to interview the opening act Aage Birch regarding his future tour, influences, and his shared love of the Killigans as well as the constant support they have given him from the beginning. Just before his very rousing song “Kings and Queens”, he conveyed to the audience that his grandfather’s funeral was this very day, but he was glad to be here performing for us on this holiday, and that he knew he’d be looked down upon from above by his guardians. He had the crowd completely revved up in proper St Paddy’s Day style and a fervent fire with “Pass the bottle” and admitted to us that he first knew that he wanted to play music after hearing Nirvana’s “In Utero” album.
His new album “I Hope This Finds You Well” is available here on Spotify, and he is beginning a tour soon to cover the entire U.S. Some of his favorite places are Portland, OR, and Las Cruces, NM, and everyone there was loving his sense of true authenticity and passion. Originally hailing from Yankton, SD, he has a longstanding sense of respect for farming and midwestern family values, and it rings true in his lyrics. A bit raspy and deeply soulful, he was the perfect form of a gifted and extraordinarily talented kickoff for this extravaganza!
The Vandon Arms was second on for the night, blending their traditional Irish folk music with a very thick distorted bottom layer, and many revelers in green hats were beginning to get extra excited by the time they took the stage. Authentic as ever and getting people’s feet stomping immediately, their rowdy and serious sense is incredibly unique and deeply cultivated over the years. “Streets of Gold” was particularly rousing, and seeing bands like this in a larger venue such as the Bourbon is quintessential: the sound, lights, and choreography all came together to make this the premier and traditional event that these diehard fans had missed so much during these difficult last two years.
Flatfoot 56’s brand of Chicago-based Celtic Punk was sending shivers up and down many spines tonight as the authentic bagpipes bellowed and their own breed of Windy City anthem was stirring the musical pot to blarney-inspired oblivion! Working over the years with experts such as Johnny Rioux who recorded Social Distortion and the Bruisers, they are arguably one of the best-sounding groups of “true working-class heroes” in the nation. Their songs “Shiny Eyes”, Son of Shame”, and “We Grow Stronger” were featured in season 3 of “Sons of Anarchy”, an appropriate placement and entertainment fit for these musicians who have their craft so well-honed that it resonates like the syncopation of a shotgun.
Fresh after the release of their “Who Stole the Keeshka” video, The Killigans proudly took the stage for the evening’s grand finale and were obviously thrilled to be up and running at full speed after the events of the past two years. They leaned heavily on the sentiment of just how good things have gotten since the Vandon Arms and Flatfoot 56 were a few of the first bands who gave them the time of day during their humble beginnings and began the night with “Knock Them Down”, “Sergio”, and “Streets”.
For a rousing edition of the Pogue’s “Dirty Old Town”, the other members performing joined the Killigans for a packed stage full of happy voices, and the rowdiness ante was upped on the floor. The sightlines are all fantastic in the Bourbon Theater, and it is always a treat to see acts who are well-rehearsed, seasoned, and hang their every word on professionalism and expert skill. This has deemed the Killigans as Nebraska’s premier Irish band for over a decade, and it shows with every note.
Rhythm guitar player Chris Nebesniak has always been an integral part of the band’s glue with his signature Marshall amplifier sound, and Pat on accordion is always a finely-honed musical treat and a perfectly-situated layer of sound. An ideal outing for a longtime fan of Irish music or anyone who has just moved to Lincoln and wants to explore the music scene, check out the Bourbon Theatre’s list of upcoming events if you happened to miss this one. This St Patrick’s day was extra special in Lincoln and spending both boisterous and one-on-one time with this recently tightened-up pack of brethren was a well-wrapped gift: A jig performed with a pure sense of merriment can effectively cure an overdose of darkness in our turbulent world!