The Killdares celebrates with fans at the after-party.

Killdares Rock Courthouse Crowd

McKinney Performing Arts Center

October 28, 2007

First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2007, Volume 14, #11

Written by Kirk deCordova

Photos by Amy Rosenthal

Thu November 15, 2007, 02:00 PM CST


The Killdares' Roberta Rast hangs out with fans.

On October 28, The Killdares ó a Dallas-based, Celtic-rock band ó stormed the historic Collin County Courthouse with its high-energy brand of rock ínĎ roll. Over the course of the evening, the band, which was appearing as part of the McKinney Performing Arts Centerís Fall Season, delivered two energetic sets of tunes. The night was filled with amazing fiddling, remarkable piping, and a bone-jarring, power-rock trio of drums, electric guitar, and bass. The show began as a lone piper emerged from the shadows to offer a haunting bagpipe solo. Soon, all five members of The Killdares were on stage doing what they do best, exciting a waiting crowd.

The Killdares' Brek Lancaster poses with fans.

The Killdares has a unique sound that is based in the power of í80s rock, though the group also adds a healthy dose of Celtic tradition, for good measure. Nevertheless, The Killdares isnít easy to pigeonhole into any single genre of music. It is an amazing rock band that just happens to feature fiddle and bagpipes. Many of the patrons at the Performing Arts Center had never heard the ensemble before, but they soon were baptized into the fold, as the guitar blazed, the drums pounded, and the bass thumped into the night.

The bulk of the set list for The Killdaresí Sunday night concert was taken from the groupís latest effort Any Given Element. Along with these original songs and a few Celtic selections ó such as the tune Whiskey in the Jar ó the band also pounded out its own rendition of Jethro Tullís classic tune Locomotive Breath as well as a showstopping finale of The Ramonesí Blitzkrieg Bop. During this final tune, the fans stood to their feet, raised their fists in the air, and screamed, "Hey! Ho! Letís Go!" For certain, the old courthouse never saw anything quite like this before!

The Killdares sports an all-star lineup that consists of talented drummer and lead vocalist Tim Smith, six-time national fiddle champion Roberta Rast, accomplished rock guitarist Brek Lancaster, competition piper Matt Willis, and rock-solid bassist Jim Dawson. David Taylor, the director of the McKinney Performing Arts Center, booked The Killdares after he saw them in concert earlier this year at The Taste of Addison. When asked what attracted him to the band, Taylor commented, "They had a very unique sound, while relating well to the audience." Assistant Director of the Center, Amy Rosenthal added, "They rocked the Courthouse! It was an awesome show!" Indeed, it was.


Of Further Interest...

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Orla Fallon - Distant Shore

Music News: North Texas Irish Festival Delivers Again


Any Given Element is available from Barnes & Noble.
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Copyright © 2007 The Music Box