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Live Music Paints Area Stages Green this Weekend!

March 15, 2012 - Jim Price
Get ready for green to appear in full force this weekend as St. Patrick’s merriment moves front and center throughout the area’s music scene. Numerous St. Patrick’s-themed parties, concerts and celebrations are happening just about everywhere; and plastic green derby hats, green beads, shamrocks, ribbons, and green beverages will be numerous.

Of course, any band or performer specializing in Irish or Celtic-flavored sounds should have a busy weekend, and that is the case for local Irish music favorites the Michael O’Brian Band, Full Kilt and Tree. Although it can be said that they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all year long, the ‘official’ Michael O’Brian Band St. Patty’s festivities kick off Thursday night with their “T’rd T’rsday” party at Molly Maguire’s in Altoona, and continue on the outdoor deck at Zach’s in Altoona Friday evening at 6. Then on Saturday, Michael O’Brian Band resumes the musical merriment at 1 p.m. at the Phyrst in State College, before capping the evening at the Oriental Ballroom in Gallitzin at 7:15 p.m. for the Gallitzin Fire Company’s 4th annual St. Patrick’s Party. (Tickets have reportedly sold out for this event.)

Full Kilt (which features the ‘Michael’ half of the Michael O’Brian Band, Mike Zerbee) will do a St. Patrick’s Day marathon of performances, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the Phyrst in State College. Half the group, Chris Myers and Mandy Passmore (‘Half Kilt’) will then entertain at Molly Maguire’s in Altoona starting at 12:30 p.m., and the full kilted band roster will then kick off the Gallitzin Fire Company’s St. Patrick’s Party at the Oriental Ballroom at 5 p.m.

Johnstown Irish music favorites Tree also have a busy slate this weekend, starting on Friday evening as they kick off the 9th annual “Mac’s Irish Bash” fundraiser for the Richard McEldowney Academic Scholarship Fund at Altoona’s Jaffa Shrine. Tree resumes the music Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Crow’s Nest in Tire Hill outside Johnstown, and finishes by providing the musical merriment at the Windber Hotel in Windber Saturday night.

St. Patrick’s Day also marks the return of the annual St. Patrick’s 814 Riot, presented by Awkward Morning Productions and Commonwealth Press. Fans of punk rock, rockabilly and psychobilly will converge on the Altoona Ramada for high-powered musical fun and excitement as eight bands rock the house. Bands performing in the Ramada ballroom at this year’s 814 Riot will include former Marauders frontman Ben Dumm and his new project, Ben Dumm & the Deviants; also the Rik Golden Band, The Fisticuffs, The Hucklebucks, The Lobotomites, The Atomic Drops, The Whatleys and Xs For Eyes. Nobody’s Heroes will perform acoustic sounds in the Ramada bar area, and a vendor area will be available. The show starts at 8 p.m., and admission is $10.

Jameson tends to be popular on St. Patty's weekend, but if you want to enjoy a Jamison without the alcohol-related concerns, former Survivor singer Jimi Jamison is performing two concerts this weekend with renowned Susquehanna region-based rockers Hybrid Ice backing him up. The first concert happens Friday evening at 9 p.m. at the Elks Ballroom in Lock Haven, and the second occurs Saturday evening at 9 p.m. at the Elks Ballroom in Danville. Both concerts are open to the public. Thanks to a Texas-based management company, Hybrid Ice is hooking up to back several well-known classic rock singers at various concert events this year, including Jamison, former Rainbow frontman Joe Lynn Turner, former Toto singer Bobby Kimball, and former Ted Nugent singer Derek St. Holmes.

St. Patrick’s weekend again will be one of the busiest weekends of the year for live music, so browse the schedule, pick a show (or shows) and support live local music. And if you partake in too much Guinness or Jameson during your merriment, don’t climb behind the steering wheel – designate a driver or call a cab!

Here is the listing for live music on area stages this weekend:


Bob Helbig (Mi Solo Beatles show, benefit for South Hills Business School Phi Beta Lambda Chapter) at Homer’s Gap Civic Center, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

The House Band at the Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Triple Threat at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

Born and the Beanstalk at Aldo’s, Altoona

Michael O’Brian Band at Molly Maguire’s, Altoona

Musician Jam at 30 Something, Altoona


9th annual “Mac’s Irish Bash” with Tree (and possible other performers) at the Jaffa Shrine, Altoona (starts 6 p.m., benefits Richard McEldowney Academic Scholarship Fund)

Michael O’Brian Band at Zach’s, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

2Twenty2 at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Backburner Brothers at Aldo’s, Altoona

The Hawks Blues Band at Rubine’s, Altoona

Sheldon Port at Relax Inn, Bellwood

Forever On Holiday at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 6 p.m.)

Without Warning at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg

Night Train at City Hotel, Northern Cambria

Forever On Holiday at Mr. Pizza, Northern Cambria (starts 9:30 p.m.)

Hannah Bingman and Doug McMinn at Boxer’s Café, Huntingdon


Dead Irish Blues at TnC's, Johnstown (starts 12 noon)

Chris and Mandy of Full Kilt at Molly Maguire’s, Altoona (starts 12:30 p.m.)

Tree at the Crow’s Nest, Tire Hill (Johnstown) (starts 1 p.m.)

Acoustic Mayhem at Belmar Hotel, Altoona (starts 3 p.m.)

Born and the Beanstalk at Molly Maguire’s, Altoona (starts 4 p.m.)

Sheldon Port at Zach’s, Altoona (starts 4 p.m.)


AnEmergencyScene presents A Promise Of Redemption, The End of America, Bright and Early, Bear Cub, On The Run and The Big Time at Masonic Hall, Altoona (all ages, starts 5 p.m.)

Gallitzin Fire Company’s 4th annual St. Patrick’s Party featuring Full Kilt, Michael O’Brian Band and Hot Wax at Oriental Ballroom Gallitzin (starts 5 p.m.)

Pat McGinnis and Tyne Palazzi at The Knickerbocker, Altoona (starts 5 p.m.)

Zupe at LeBistro, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

The Jam at Club Squared, Philipsburg (all ages, starts 7 p.m.)

Dead Irish Blues at Jim & Jimmie's, Johnstown (starts 7 p.m.)

The St. Patrick’s Day 814 Riot featuring Ben Dumm & the Deviants, The Fisticuffs, the Rik Golden Band, The Hucklebucks, The Lobotomites, The Atomic Drops, The Whatleys and Xs For Eyes at the Ramada, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Vision to None at Aldo’s, Altoona

The “Shamrock Shakedown” with Stack A Bones and Mysterytrain at 30 Something, Altoona

Buck Dickson and the Felons at Family Pizza, Altoona

Hot Damn at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

The House Band at Molly Maguire’s, Altoona

Sheldon Port at Applebee’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Emily’s Toybox at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Wyld Syde at Glenn’s Place, Claysburg

The Hawks Blues Band at Blue Moon Saloon, Cresson

Ruff Tymes at Sankertown VFW, Sankertown

Felix & the Hurricanes at Sokol’s, Lilly

Flight 19 at the Bullpen, Tyrone

The Boomers at the Johnstown Inn, Johnstown

Tree at the Windber Hotel, Windber

Sunset Strip at Madhatters, St. Boniface

Represent The Lie at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

Unbridled and Metro at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg

St. Patrick’s Day Three-Band Bash with Ribbon Grass, Yum and Shades Of June at Ace’s Lounge, Johnstown


The Jam at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

(More shows may be added to this list as information becomes available. Feel free to check back.)

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Blog Photos

The Michael O'Brian Band, instigating Irish merriment with fans at Molly Maguire's in Altoona in March, 2011. They return to Molly's this Thursday night.


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