The first set is all about relief and taking the edge off after a long wait. At an Angus Mohr show you get rocked up pipe tunes like “Andy Renwick’s Favourite Ferret” and “Paddy’s Leather Breeches;” traditional songs sped up and cast in metal like “Whiskey in the Jar” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home;” and the kilted classic blends like “Watchtower” zipped together with “Scotland the Green.” And of course, the rolicking Angus Mohr original, “The Captains’ Song.”
The second set is speculative and experimental. Everyone is warmed up and chances can be taken with songs that don’t always make the festival set lists, like “Werewolf of London” or “Sedated.” But make no mistake, this is the full workout. At the Little Bear, “Rebel Yell” gets everyone on their feet– not just the people on the dance floor.
“Get It On” slipping into “Ring of Fire” is as cathartic as screaming down that last roller coaster hill, and then the “Hard Rain” comes, and in those final dizzying moments, you are spent, convinced you have nothing left.
But when the third set starts, baby, it’s all groove…”Rebel Rebel,” struts. “Morning Dew” mourns. “Sorrow” bleeds, and “Long Way to the Top” rocks and then rolls us into “Keep on Rocking to the Heart of The Sun.” It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am, they could play that song for hours, and it would never be long enough.
Now, square that by back to back Friday and Saturday nights, during (though not at) the Estes Park Scottish festival in one of the places, that for this band, started it all, and you’ll have Lonigan’s weekend.
Honey, you’d better save your strength.