The Pogues – Live Review

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The Pogues are currently on their last U.S. tour. And on Friday night at the House of Blues in Boston, all members of the eight-piece band were certainly playing for keeps.

Singer Shane MacGowan, who is as notorious for his chemical intake as he is for his poetic input, was having such an on-night it was almost surprising. This lent the other band members an energy beyond any mere supporting role.

And the crowd was also a bit of a surprise. They playfully heckled Titus Andronicus, who turned in a scorching performance that seemed custom built to win over Pogues fans as well as subversively criticize the ruder members of the audience with their messages of “it’s still us against them.” But after Titus left the stage and The Clash’s “Straight to Hell” came over the PA, an energy began to ripple through the crowd.

Shortly after the band hit the stage with “Streams of Whiskey” a pit had formed behind the first eight rows of spectators. And as the band launched into “If I Should Fall From Grace with God,” there was no separating that pit from the audience members who wanted to quietly watch. There was little room for casual observation on the floor of the House of Blues Friday night as the pogo-ing and swaying all melded into one colossal current that felt very much like seeing the Pogues might have 25 years ago.

Unfortunately, the video below doesn’t illuminate the floor for more than a second at a time to see the crowd, but the spot-on performance by the band translates approximately 20 percent of the actual energy they projected into that room on Friday.


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