Homer's Travels: Music: Enter The Haggis With The Spring Standards

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Music: Enter The Haggis With The Spring Standards

It'd been quite a while since the Wife and I have been to a concert, our last being Gordan Lightfoot back in October of last year. Our choice of next concert was a rather obscure Canadian band that I'd heard on a podcast several years ago. I'd bought their CD "Casualties of Retail" (Direct from the band's website as they weren't at Amazon back then) and fell in like with the energetic Celtic rock sounds of Enter the Haggis. Going to this concert was a risk as going to a concert after hearing only one five year old album, one that the Wife had never heard of, could have been disappointing and, as usual, I was somewhat worried.

The show started with a warm up band that I'd never heard of before, The Spring Standards. What a pleasant surprise. Warm ups for obscure bands tend to be rather average beginners who haven't found their groove yet. This was not the case with the Spring Standards. The trio were pretty good. Each musician often played multiple instruments each song. Keyboard/percussion/vocal, trumpet/percussion/guitar, Guitar/percussion/harmonica. At times it was almost funny, like watching three one-man-bands up on the stage, but the sounds they made were great. Their thirty minute set was a good warm up for Enter The Haggis and I was motivated to buy their album "Would Things Be Different".

Enter The Haggis took the stage and pretty much wowed us. My worries evaporated as soon as they started playing. They played music from their three CDs including their new one "Gutter Anthems". The quintet consists of a bass, a drummer, a guitar/vocalist, a keyboard/guitar/fiddle/vocalist, and a flute/harmonica/vocal/bagpiper. All I have to say is that every rock band should have a bagpipe player. Seriously. Bagpipes rule and really add that little extra something to this Celtic rock band's music. The fiddler was pretty good too. By the end of the night they had people dancing in the aisles.

After the show you had a chance to meet with both bands, get autographs, and buy merchandise. It's nice to catch a band before they become unapproachable. Between the shows a guy commented to the Wife that the Spring Standards were pretty good and she agreed. Turns out the guy was the Enter The Haggis' bagpiper.

If you have a chance to see either of these bands, do it, they are worth it.

The concert was at the Scott Recital Hall in the Holland Center. The hall has an intimate, club feel. Your seats are at tables and drinks and snacks are served while you enjoy the show. It's always a plus when you don't have to stand in line for food and drink. Cameras weren't allowed so no pictures ... only good memories of good music and a needed night out.

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