Best Night of Summer 2016, Thanks to Gaelic Storm

I just had the best night of the summer so far.

The Upper Merion Parks and Recreation Department puts on an annual summer “Concerts Under the Stars” series, and tonight featured Gaelic Storm along with opening act Brian Bortnick.

We (my wife, son, and I)  decided to go to the concert despite never having heard of either performer. As it turned out, we had heard Gaelic Storm’s music before, and most likely so have you.  They were featured in the film Titanic as the steerage band, performing “An Irish Party in Third Class”.

We picked-up a couple of hoagies and a soft pretzel from Wawa (it is Hoagie Fest time after all), then drove to the venue and found a great spot to set up our lawn chairs for the free show.

The show started right on time at 6:00 with a nice performance by Brian Bortnick, a singer, songwriter, and musician who was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He is said to be a rock version of Johnson with a soulful voice favorably compared to Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish.

After a few minutes of intermission, Gaelic Storm came on to the stage with Danny Boy playing in the background. The band then launched into their set, with songs featuring incredible fiddle and bagpipe playing, catchy tunes, and great interaction with the crowd. The band just seemed to be having a fun time up on stage, and it was infectious.

There were several memorable songs, but here is one that I enjoyed called The Night I Punched Russell Crowe.

By the time Gaelic Band was doing its encore, a full moon was rising behind the stage, making it seem like a perfect midsummer night’s dream.

I’ve already started to make plans for when Gaelic Storm is back in town, March of 2017. It will be the perfect way to get ready for St. Paddy’s Day.

P.S. A big thank you to Upper Merion for putting on these free concerts, it is greatly appreciated. It was also a bit of a trip down memory lane, since I grew up in Upper Merion…