Early Irish night

DALTON, Mass. – On Friday Feb. 27, The Wolfe Tones played a sold-out show at the Wahconah Country Club to people young and old, holding hands, dancing and singing as if Irish nationalism was alive and well in the United States ‘- or at least Dalton.

Before the show started the trio from Dublin sat at the bar with its fans, having casual conversation as well as a drink ‘hellip; or three ‘- a ritual before every show, which many fans have witnessed.

As the band introduced itself a projector turned on and displayed a PowerPoint presentation behind them. There were pictures of documents, buildings, historic people, events and even athletes that perfectly coordinated with each song being played. Before every tune, the band’s leading songwriter, Brian Warfield, took a few minutes to describe what made the upcoming song so important and if it had a specific relation to them, usually ending their tale by saying, ‘You’ll never beat The Wolfe Tones’ ‘- a reference to their popular song, ‘You’ll Never Beat the Irish.’

From the first song, The Wolfe Tones had spotless transitions, making it seem as if they have been playing with each other for years ‘- 45 to be exact.

They opened with ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday,’ not the familiar U2 song, but one written by John Lennon that recognizes the horrible acts were carried out by the First Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment on Jan. 30, 1972. After the song, Warfield went on to discuss how Lennon and Paul McCartney, both of Irish descent, wrote songs about the horrendous event; some were banned from BBC broadcasting.

The trio then played fan-favorites ‘God Save Ireland,’ ‘The Streets of New York’ and their biggest hit, ‘The Helicopter Song.’ Warfield then asked the crowd for a ‘Wee bit of coolness’ or in other words to calm down while he tells a story of the past troubles in Belfast.

Following the synopsis, the band played ‘In Belfast,’ to the delight of the crowd. The slow, melodramatic song’s lyrics stung at the emotions of, most visibly, some of the audience’s older members, though all in the room were affected. As a perfect follow-up to the emotional tune, the band played ‘Celtic Symphony,’ which got everyone out of their seats, jumping up and down and singing, ‘We’re on the road again / We’re on the road again/ We’re on our way to Paradise / We love the jungle team / That’s where the lion sleeps / And all those evil eyes, they have no place in paradise.’

After a short drink break the band resumed with the light-hearted ‘Boston Rose’ and ‘You’ll Never Beat the Irish,’ pumping more energy into the crowd. Feeding off the audience, the trio broke into ‘Come Out Ye Black & Tans’ and ‘Big Strong Man.

When the concert ended the band stuck around, had some more drinks, told some stories and signed autographs on anything fans could get their hands on.

In their career The Wolfe Tones have released 13 albums with the most recent being 2005’s ‘You’ll Never Beat the Irish.’

Ryan Fleming can be reached at [email protected]