Yes, I hang out with the most charming people.
“This just shows how little you know about my peeps,” I said defensively. “What’s cool about the Irish and Irish American music community is that we’ve produced a wide spectrum of sounds and styles while still sticking to the Celtic voodoo that we do so well. We make a flavor of music for any palette!”
And don’t Irish music fans come in all flavors? You can tell a lot about a person by what you see in their record collection or their taste in concerts.
I’ve been going to concerts on this beat for 15 years or more in this job, and I’ve stared down many a crowd. So, I think I know a thing or two about this. Plus I am Irish, which means I have a dominant judgmental gene that entirely qualifies me for the snarky opinion on everyone I see at these concerts.
Submitted for your consideration is a list of music choices and what they might say about you:
Celtic Woman: Without fail, you take the mothballs off that QVC Aran sweater you got during the last Paddy’s Day home shopping marathon. You fidget with the rabbit ears atop the television until PBS comes in clear as a bell and your breath is taken away at the sight of those lasses in all their sparkly taffeta glory.
Coming to this show for some Irish culture is like going to the Barbie kitchen for a meal, yet there you are, ready to plunk down your donation at pledge time for that latest disc of saccharine-coated culture.
When its time to get off the La-Z-Boy recliner to actually see the live show at Radio City, your hair is dyed a burnt cheddar just for the occasion, your Tara brooch has been pinned on the Book of Kells silk scarf around your neck (in case it’s drafty), and you are ready to rock!
But now, Van is older and so are you. That hippie vibe is intoxicating, which probably explains why you felt the need to take that thick wallet from the back pocket of your expandable waist Dockers and plunked down the Gold AMEX to purchase a block of $250 tickets to that last Astral Weeks Memory Lane Tour that Van did a few years back.
You used to screw to Van, but now Van is screwing you. And you kinda like it.
Celtic punk rock: You are almost certainly a male. You are mad at the world in general and especially sore at the Hot Topic store manager in particular. He’s the guy who tried to schedule you on the register the night your favorite band is in town. The nerve of him!
Your bands play loud n’ proud n’ bold and this is the soundtrack of your seething discontent of the bad hand that life has dealt you.
Leather jacket? Check. Jack boots? Check. Little metal chain that connects your belt loop to the wallet with no money in it? Check! Check! Check!
With all those fists pumping in the air and those lyrics shouted with such force that you pop a vein in your neck, this is the place you’ve chosen to expel life’s bad stuff faster than a colon full of White Castle hamburgers.
The closer you come to the mosh pit, the more likely it is that you have been accused at some point of assault and battery. But what harm? You’ve never been convicted of the two at the same time. Plus, didn’t the chick have it coming?
Sinead O’Connor: You’re either a leather-clad, high priestess badass that’s snarling at the world or married to someone who is. There is no in between.
The Wolfe Tones, Derek Warfield and the New Wolfe Tones, or any other rebel trio band with a banjo with Wolfe in their name: You’re one of the many that didn’t get the office memo circulating around which announced that “The Troubles” ended a couple of decades ago. Just when you began to let go of all that anger directed at the Brits, along came Simon Cowell to prove once again, without a shadow of a doubt, that those limey bastards are the devil incarnate.
You’ve brought along your son or nephew with you to this show to teach him about his heritage, but it’s no use. He orders a Guinness and Harp mixed pint when the band plays “Come Out Ye Black and Tans” without a hint of irony.
He thinks an Irish car bomb is a Guinness with a shot in it and Bobby Sands is some guy that was an extra in the Hunger Games movie. He’s not paying a bit of attention to the lyrics but in the end, you find one thing that you can agree on -- there’s nothing quite like a fist-pumping rebel song to do the trick when punishing your liver!
Daniel O’Donnell: You are a close cousin to the Celtic Woman fan; heck, you may even have some of their CDs mixed in with “The Daniel.”
The thing that sets you apart from the other species is that you bring all of the disappointments of parenthood to these shows. This boy never makes his mother embarrassed or blames her for how screwed up he is, not like that no-good son that came from your womb.
See how he blows a kiss to his mammy from the balcony -- it would take an act of God to get your amaudaun to say “I love you” at the end of his obligatory Sunday afternoon phone call. And let’s not get you started on that daughter-in-law!
On the rare occasion that she grants you access to your grandchildren, you have attempted to expose them to the wholesomeness of The Daniel instead of that tramp Rihanna. They plug their ear buds in and tune him out, much to your chagrin.
Your sons and daughters have met behind your back to see what to do about your dementia. They are pointing to the fact that you’ve organized a bus trip to go see Daniel in Branson, Missouri to include a stop at every religious shrine to the Blessed Mother along the way, as proof that you’ve lost your marbles.
Loreena McKennit, Enya, and the like: You are almost certainly a woman, have more than one pair of yoga pants and get indignant when someone refers to God as a male.
Let your high school friends from Crestwood walk around with their Michael Kors handbags; your tie-dye knapsack with the pentagrams holds a wallet just fine, thank you very much!
Cubicles are for chumps--you can make money in any room that has oil and a massage table. You have an active profile on Match.com because you are sick and tired of dating Dungeon and Dragon Dungeon Masters, but the real secret behind your lack of dates has everything to do with those Birkenstocks.