Good evening, and happy St. Patrick’s Day Weekend! As you can imagine, this weekend will play host to all kinds of fun, rollicking festivities, almost all of which feature Free Live Music! Here are a few items that The Scene would like to bring to your attention:
Who: Wonder Bread 5
Where: The Royal Exchange
When: Friday, March 15th @ 4:00 p.m.
Anything else?: This is The Royal Exchange’s annual St. Paddy’s Day Street Party, but don’t let the name fool you — this is a family-friend shindig! Sure, you can get your drink on, but it’s all about having fun! And, believe me, this band fits the bill! They absolutely do NOT take themselves seriously. Armed with crazy costumes, outrageous wigs, and a songlist built upon decades (including the current one) of popular cover songs, think of this experience as an over-the-top party/wedding band. (Hey, just speakin’ the truth, yo.) A fun, light-hearted way to get the weekend started right.
Who: Toshio Hirano
Where: Mercury Cafe
When: Friday, March 15th @ 7:30 p.m.
Anything else?: This is a much more laid back way to start out your Irish Weekend — with a little Appalachian-influenced, yodel-laden acoustic music. Toshio was featured in an SFGate.com article, and is a master of simple, old-time American music. Another family-friendly event!
Who: Multiple Artists
Where: San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival (Civic Center Plaza)
When: Saturday, March 16th @ 11:00 a.m.
Anything else?: Come see a myriad of live acts for free, such as The Hooks (Irish rock ‘n’ roll), The Gas Men (traditional Irish music), and (during the parade) the Irish Pipers Band of San Francisco (bagpipes — you heard me!).
Who: Opera On Tap
Where: Cafe Royale
When: Saturday, March 16th @ 7:30 p.m.
Anything else?: This is such an awesome idea! This non-profit organization presents a monthly acoustic showcase for those who are either curious about opera, or love (but can’t afford to go see) opera — or anyone in between, frankly! One thing to keep in mind: there will be a passing of the hat, so to speak, but any and all donations are greatly appreciated. And, as mentioned in previous posts, the venue is a lovely neighborhood gem, so get your artiste on!
Who: Tom Armstrong
Where: The Lucky Horseshoe
When: Sunday, March 17th @8:00 p.m.
Anything else?: So, yes, Mr. Armstrong — a local old-school country and honky tonk singer and songwriter — is the featured act for the evening. That being said, come early — say, around 4:00 p.m. — for a good old fashioned bluegrass jam session! A little heads-up that the evening performance will have a pass-the-hat aspect to it, but if you’re a true country fan, you will never forgive yourself for missing this guy.
Who: The Cottontails
Where: The Riptide
When: Sunday, March 17th @ 7:30 p.m.
Anything else?: This venue is a great neighborhood bar that boasts a real-live fireplace! True, it’s all the way out by the ocean, but this local fave is easily accessible by Muni rail. As for the band, they’re a great traditional 5-piece combo that skillfully plays a wide variety of awesome old American vocal jazz, honky tonk, soul, ’20s-through-’60s swing and rock ‘n’ roll, and so on. Plus, the female vocalist is ridiculously good!