The Pogues, New York 3/16
I had a seriously bipolar week last week — some ridiculously high highs and some nastily low lows — but one of the highest points of all was getting to attend the first New York show of the reunited Pogues’ tour.
(Well, not quite all the Pogues reunited. My college friend Kenji would say that the Pogues without Cait O’Riordan is just a bunch of drunk Irish guys, and much as it pains me to admit it, he has a point, except for the part where they’re not all Irish.)
Shane MacGowan is heavier now, and has longer hair — he looks kind of like Bono’s older brother, if Bono’s older brother was a toothless alcoholic. I could understand maybe half of what he was saying, and I was doing better than most of the people around me. But he is still a rock star: you couldn’t take your eyes off him when he was on stage. And he can still sing, and he still has that banshee howl. And the band was playing fierce and hard, and they were all happy to be there, and when the audience howled for “Fairytale of New York” Jem Finer’s daughter came out to sing the female part, and she and Shane danced across the stage together while fake snow fell in the Nokia Theater. It was nostalgia, and celebration, and bacchanal and sadness all mixed in together, the way the Pogues have always been, and it was wonderful to be a part of it, even fifteen years later.