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The Pogues on Stage     BY: Aaron Fulkerso
Pogue Mahone

The Pogues with Titus Andronicus - March 11 & 12, 2011

By Rick Robinson | March 10, 2011

Elvis Presley was the King – an American music legend who will be forever copied, but never matched.

Another original legend takes the stage in Boston this weekend as Shane MacGowan and the Pogues appear for two shows at the House of Blues.

The Pogues Live in Concert in Brixton, London on December 21, 2004
BY & COPYRIGHT: Dan Schultz

The Pogues take me back to a time when music by the Ramones and the Clash filled the hallways of my college dormitory. The band produced a distinctive sound that mixed punk with Irish folk. In an industry where many claimed that it’d all been done before, the Pogues were original.

The tight recordings that the Pogues cut in the studio were brilliant. They also provided a sharp contrast to the wild concerts that the group performed live. Usually led by a drunk MacGowan, crowds were whipped into a frenzied mob. “Usually” is the operative word. Many times MacGowan was too intoxicated to perform.

The Pogues studio music was dazzling, but their concert performances insane. People went to the concerts to listen, sing and wait for the train wreck that had become Shane MacGowan.

Eventually, MacGowan’s excessive drinking caused a parting of the ways between him and his band mates. He was canned. They reunited for touring, but have not recorded any new music for years.

The Pogues Album 'Red Roses for Me"

I saw the Pogues last week in Chicago for the start of their 2011 US tour. The group has announced that this is their final lap. Despite poor reviews of recent tours, I wanted to see Shane MacGowan live.

For Elvis Presley’s final tour, fans may have seen the fat Elvis, but they still saw Elvis.

On Thursday night in Chicago, a chain smoking Shane MacGowan didn’t disappoint. At 53 years old, he shuffled on and off stage like an old man in a retirement home. But behind the microphone, MacGowan was at his best. And when MacGowan is at his best, the Pogues are a sight to behold.

The set list included all the standards. Poor Paddy, Dirty Old Town and If I Should Fall From Grace With God all resonated through the Congress Theater with foot-stomping gusto. With his penny-whistle playing original band mate, Spider Stacy, leading MacGowan through the haze, the Pogues nailed it in Chicago.

If there are any tickets left to be had, go see this show.

The Pogues have been copied by the likes of the Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly and the Mudmen, but they remain unique. They are the originals. If anyone tries to argue otherwise, look ‘em in the eyes and tell’em “Pogue Mahone.”

Venue Details:

House of Blues Boston

15 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA 02215

(888) 693-2583 (BLUE)


$51.00 - General Admission Standing Room

$75.00 - Reserved Seating

Friday, March 11, 2011

Doors open at 7PM and the show commences at 8PM

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Doors open at 6PM and the show commences at 7PM

The House of Blues Boston Website

Rick Robinson is the author of three award winning political thrillers. His latest, Manifest Destiny, was recently named Best Independent Book of 2010.

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