Well, I survived another Irish Festival, this one – the Buffalo Irish Festival at The Pier. I went both Saturday and Sunday, as the bands I wanted to see weren’t all there on one day.
Saturday, I wanted to see the Glengarry Bhoys. So did my friends, Lynette and Mike. They met me there. The day went great, until later in the afternoon, when the rain came. It rained for about an hour and came down hard enough to stop everything on the main stage. We found a place under a roof to huddle for a while, then dashed over to the circus tent that held the second stage. The entertainment was still going on there, but wasn’t quite what we were waiting for.
The main stage only had a tarp for a roof. There was once a real roof, but it must have been blown away during the winter. Since the future of The Pier is kind of up in the air, with all the waterfront redevelopment plans being tossed around, I can see why they don’t spend money to replace it. The tarp turned into a raincatcher and was sagging down right in the center stage with probably a hundred gallons of water by the time it was all done. It wasn’t safe to hold any show there.
They finally announced they were shuffling the schedule around and putting the main stage shows in the tent and the smaller tent shows in the main building. The only problem was it couldn’t be done immediately, equipment was set up and one piano just wasn’t going into the main building! But the schedule was adjusted and the show went on. The downside was, the two Glengarry Bhoy shows became one.
But we stuck it out and waited for the Glengarrys. The tent was filled. Every chair was taked and people were standing in the back and aisles. The plywood dance floor in front of the stage was empty, however. We discussed this as we waited for the other shows to finish. It looked like a lot of people were simply sitting there to hold the seats and thought they would have a great spot for the show. Maybe they had never seen the Bhoys before… There would be no one sitting for their show! In fact, and I said so at the time, if they were smart, it would be easier and safer to fold up all the chairs and make more room.
So when the time for the show came, we went down to the dance floor and sat on the plywood. Once the show started, everyone came out of the woodwork and – of course – no one was sitting any more anyway!
The stage was low, only about 24 inches high and we were right there in front. I tried to take some pictures but all I seemed to get were peoples hands waving in the air! Everyone was jumping up and waving. It was great, but not easy taking photos.
I eventually went to the right side of the stage and found good sight lines. I took a lot of pictures from there and had a great view of the band as well. The only bad thing was I was as far as possible away from Shelly, the violin player, and prettiest Bhoy of the bunch. I did persevere and got some photos of her as well.
Anyway, it was agreat time and I did it all over the next night with the Gaelic Storm. They also only played one show at the end of the night. This time it wasn’t weather – it was beautiful and sunny on Sunday – but due to their trailer breaking an axle and making them arrive late. They did get a loaner and made it, though.
They played on the main stage. The water had been drained from the tarp roof, without any finesse, as the six-inch gash in the tarp showed. But I guess the stage survived. I sat and waited at the side of the stage near the sound board so that I could get some more photos. It turned out to be a great spot and I shared it with some people from my home town of Lockport. We had a really geat time talking about celtic music shows we had seen and planned to see.
Anyway, the same scenario again – the floor in front of the stage filled up with fans and I had plenty of chance to take lots of photos. They took a set break and I took that opportunity to switch to the other end of the stage for more angles.
I put my photos on my home web server, as I always do. I have no limit on space there 🙂 I just buy another hard drive if I run out. Anyway, you can see them at my music blog pages.