...for a pair of brown eyes. Indie Rocker and I checked out The Pogues last night in Portland, which was both totally awesome, and a little depressing at the same time. The Pogues are famous for two things: 1) being the original, and seminal Irish punk band, and 2) Shane MacGowan. Shane MacGowan is notorious for being so drunk that he often either wouldn't or couldn't make it on stage for the band's shows. It's said that he drank to kill the pain of having bad teeth, which for whatever reason sounded better when I read it than when I just typed it.
Long story short, the concert was great because the band was truly brilliant, but their collective brilliance made Shane's drunken messiness that much more apparent. Aside from his total lack of enunciation and severely slurred non sequiturs to the crowd between songs, the crowd could tell that the band had pretty much had it with Shane, and was just sucking it up for one last hurrah.
Which is kind of too bad, considering that the rest of the band is a group of seriously talented musicians who could clearly pull off amazing shows if they weren't saddled with an iconic, albeit hopelessly alcoholic lead singer. Spider Stacy, the tin whistle player and occasional lead singer, seemed both bemused and just plain over it with Shane all night, and was the only member of the band with the spotlight on him, a fact that Indie Rocker and I both noticed.
They played a wide variety of their hits, from "A Pair of Brown Eyes" and "Dirty Old Town" to "Tuesday Morning," sung by Stacy, and "Sunny Side of the Street." They skipped "Fairytale of New York," which was kind of a relief, actually. I wasn't sure how they could or would pull that off, and I'm glad that they didn't. Mostly because I wasn't forced to listen to Shane slur through one of my all-time favorite songs.
Either way, I'm glad that I saw the show, I knew I wouldn't be able to hear today(sorry, Marshall! I forgot the earplugs), and I definitely had a memorable experience.
Quote of the Day: "Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed/Then prayed and bled some more/And the only thing that I could see/Was a pair of brown eyes that was looking at me." A Pair of Brown Eyes, The Pogues.