On Saturday night, Gavan's Hotel hosted the third annual Half-Way to St-Paddy's Day Party featuring the Town Pants. While it may not have been their most eventful night at Gavan's (I think Year One, when we partied in the street after a transformer blew, was probably the most eventful) - they certainly did not disapoint.
We missed the opening act of Fiddlehaus - Shawn & Virginia Schwartz, who's debut CD "The Schwartz' Backyard" is apparently fantastic; however, we did get there in time to see Celtae, and while I didn't know any of the songs they played, they certainly had my toes tapping (and wishing I knew how to play one of those hand-held drums - so cool!) But it wasn't until the Pants took the stage that the dance floor suddenly filled up. It's impossible to sit still while they're performing - even when parked at a table, as we were for most of the night, you glance around and people are banging the tables and dancing in their seats. Their energy is infectious, and everyone in the large crowd had Town Pants Fever!
The Town Pants consists of Pontiac natives and brothers, Duane & Dave Keough, Vancouver-born Aaron Chapman, and Quyon girl Virginia Schwartz. They delivered two long, high-powered sets, including all of my favourites - "Breakfast with St. Swithin", "Mr. Valentine's Dead", and "Rumrunner". Of course, it's the crowd-pleasing old Irish tunes like "Black Velvet Band" that really demonstrate their ability to draw fan interaction. I mean, how many times, after the line, "Her eyes, they shone like the diamonds - You'd think she was Queen of the land", did we have to yell And She Was!! ...but nobody was complaining, because it's everyone's favourite part of the show! (And after being at a Pants show, everytime you hear that song, you will shout that line - and people may look and wonder why, but if they ever see the Town Pants, they will understand). Or in the song where we all have to yell Hey, Wife!! 84,000 times...it's tradition; it's the part of the set everyone's waiting for.
I did get to swing around the dance floor for the last few songs of the night, and I'm not sure I've ever sweat so much in my whole entire life. No, not even at Steph & Woermke's wedding, when it was 36 degrees out and I danced pretty much all night. But it's a part of being at a Town Pants show that everyone should experience at least once - being up there, amidst all of the drunk and hyper dancers, slipping in spilled beer, laughing til your stomach hurts, and glancing down when everyone's jumping up and down in synch, and realizing that, yes, indeed, the floor is actually shaking. Literally bouncing. If you haven't done it yet, I hope you have a Town Pants experience sometime in the future, and get up there at some point, and see what I mean. It's the best memory that I have - in an evening full of great moments.
Next to St. Patrick's Day, this is possibly the best night at Gavan's, and it was great to see so many familiar faces out. It was fun to stop and chat with so many different people I hadn't seen in a long time while trying to elbow my way to the bar. Everyone seemed to be in a party mood - even at the end, when the lights came on, no one wanted it to be over (which is why there was a packed bus heading to the Schwartz' house after the show for more music and fun - I didn't hop on, but I'm sure those who did continued with the rowdy, Irish drinking party!) I hope everyone who was there had as much fun as I did!
One closing note: For those wondering, Steve Agnew & Branded (aka- "Chris Malone & The Steve Agnew Band") will be playing their final weekend at Gavan's on October 20-21. The guys have rented rooms for that last night, and they want to finish with a bang, so a huge party is in store. Spread the word - let's pack Gavan's again to thank them for all the good times! Mark your calendars!
Have a good week, all!