This guy was one of the most popular people I saw. Turns out he is also a big fan of the Young Dubs.
Last night I drove down to the GasLamp area of Downtown San Diego. The annual St Patrickâ€™ Day celebration included a festival called ShamRock. The city had blocked off/fenced off 2 intersecting streets and set up a few stages and booths for food and alcohol. They even covered the streets with a green indoor/outdoor carpet kind of thing. The event was from 4pm until midnight. I decided to have dinner down there so left the house around 5:30. I got downtown and found a parking lot that was a couple blocks from the event. Parking downtown can be a pain in the ass, and expensive, so I was pleased for what I found. It only cost me $5. As I walked to the event I chuckled at the amounts that other lots were charging. I saw one that was only a block from where I parked was charging $20â€¦ouch!!!!
I found the main gate and went to pay.
The first stop was the rent a security that had some sort of scanner that checked driverâ€™s licenses. Since this was basically one big open air bar, you had to be 21 to get in. Well later I decided that the scanners must have had programming flaw since I saw a lot of women that looked to be about 18. But only the women looked to young to be thereâ€¦.. My first desire was to find something to eat. Right inside the main gate was a restaurant serving ethnic foodâ€¦Corned Beef and Cabbageâ€¦sweet. I love Corned Beef! It was also time for my first Guinness. I had a nice dinner and started my people watching. Some very amusing people were walking around.
People thinking they can dance an Irish Jig.
Having filled my belly I decided it was time to starting checking out the music. The flyer said there were going to be 6 stages set up. Well I only saw 2. But that was ok. The 2 stages were set up at opposite ends of one of the streets.
Not the best set up I thought, as the music was competing with each other. On one stage the bands were playing Traditional Irish, Irish Rock, or just plain rock and roll. The other stage was playing Techno Crap and Hip Hop type stuff. Well I did not come down here to listen to the stuff I can hear everyday one the kids radio, so I gravitated towards the other stage. But first it was time for another Guinness. This is where I noticed how expensive the beer was. It was $6 for a small little plastic cup of beer. Damn!!! I had not planned on drinking a lot, and this would keep that in check. So beer in hand I wondered over towards the stage to watch my first band. They were not very good, but they did try. This is were the fun people watching started. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, white people, alcohol and booze make an interesting combination. Tonight would not be an exception J None of my friends had shown up yet, so I just amused myself by watching the crowd and chatting with a couple of people around me.
The first thing I noticed was all the funny things being worn in celebration of the day. The usual green shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, and dresses (and yes I was included in that group). Then there were the less than usual. All sorts of green wigs of various styles (what the hell is up with a fake green afro), but my favorite were the funny hats. There was the comical stereotypical hat:
Leprechaun Pimp Hat
And then one I just did not getâ€¦.the Irish Pimp Hat:
Nothing says St Patrickâ€™s Day like wanting to be a Leprechaun Pimp!
At this point a couple of friends showed up.
And boys will be boys! The crowd watching took a more evil twist. The band was playing some traditional Irish music. What is it with people that when they hear this type of music they think they are magically transformed into Riverdance performers. Suddenly all over the street people break out into what they think is an Irish jig. Very amusing!
Nothing says St. Patrick's Day like a Go Go dancer?
Well this band finished, so we decided to go for a walk. Being the red blooded American men that we are we soon found the Go Go dancers. Ah, now I understood the need for the Leprechaun Pimp hats. But it would have been disrespectful to not stand and watch the ladies performâ€¦.right. And oh the obligatory picturesâ€¦
That one was just for you FOX.
I just thought of somethingâ€¦maybe those were the other 4 stages? Hmmmm. Oh well, yes they were pretty, but I have other beautiful women in my life, women that I actually can have conversations with, so off we went to get another drink (This would be my last of the night, responsible driver and all). We then went back to find a place close to the stage to relax and listen to more music and crowd watch.
2nd to last band, They were pretty good.
This time we found a place next to some young lads that were actually from Dublin. They were young, and on their way to a very drunk state of being. Thankfully they were not rowdy drunks. They had a lot of amusing stories of â€śhomeâ€ť and what they were doing here in San Diego. Soon the 2nd to the last band started playing.
Up until now most of the music had just been â€śokâ€ť.
But this group was pretty good. Mostly cover songs, but they did a very good job, musically and vocally. The amusing thing about this bands set, was the drunk girls they let up on stage to dance as the band played. Nothing like pretty, drunk women making fools of themselves. Oh well, I guess everybody wants the 3-5 minutes of public attention.
This is the Young Dubliners fiddle player
Finally the band I came to see came on stage. The Young Dubliners. I have described their music in the past, so will not do so again here. The only disappointment I had, was the previous band had gone over their time limit. And since the Dubs were the last act, they had to cut their set short. But still, It was great to see all the people in the audience rocking out.
All to soon the show was over.
And it was off on my way back home. On my way back to my truck I saw 2 very funny things. The first was a drunk that was fighting with a couple of cops. Oppps, the beer made him forget that is a fight you canâ€™t win. But the officers were very professional about the whole thing. The next was a car that somebody had decided to park into a light post. The light post won. As I walked past, I told the officer that was running the vehicle, â€śGlad I did not use that Valetâ€ť. He chuckled and then waved me over. Damn it, I know better than to attract attention to myselfâ€¦.Well I had not had anything to drink for about 3 hours by that time, and I had only had 3 very small beers to begin with so I knew I was safe. He just asked how the festival was (as he was doing a stealth field sobriety check), I told him fine. And then continued on my way.
The Young Dubs with Eric Rigler on the left. Eric is "the" best piper in Hollywood. His band is Bad Haggis.
Hope everybody had a great time last night.