The Young Dubliners• March 14, 2023• The Depot
Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We can think of no better way to celebrate than to share our review of our amazing time at The Depot in Salt Lake City, with The Young Dubliners. The Young Dubliners have been a favorite in Utah for many years. As far back as the old Zephyr Club. A long-standing venue that hosted many bands in the 80s and 90s.They even played Salt Lake City during the Winter Olympics in 2002. The Zephyr Club has since been torn down, but Salt Lake City’s love of The Young Dubliners is as strong as ever.
It feels like it’s been a while since the Young Dubs have played Utah. They were actually here last summer. But like frontman, Keith Roberts stated, it felt too hot for them to be here. I have to admit, it felt right having The Young Dubliners here in town on a cold blustery March night. The Depot was warmed up by a full crowd and the high energy performance of The Dubs. Derby hats filled the room along with huge mustaches and beards. I’ve never been to Dublin but this crowd sure did their best to make me feel like I was there.
Things got off to a raucous start with songs like “We The Mighty” from their 2014 album Nine and “Brown Dog” from the album Absolutely. The set was a good mix from their catalog. It seemed that the crowd favorites came from The Young Dubs highly acclaimed 2007 album With All Due Respect: The Irish Sessions. The album consists of songs by Irish artists covered in The Young Dubliner’s style. Songs from traditional Irish songs to songs from legendary bands like The Pogues really got the crowd moving.
Roberts told the crowd that he was looking for the city that does the best Irish dancing. He told us to act like our arms were broken and our legs were having a seizure. Arms went to everyone’s side and the legs went crazy. Salt Lake City tried their damndest to show the band that they were the best Irish dancing city. I’m not sure we’ll win points in the technique category. But the crowd showed a lot of passion and energy. That’s gotta count for something. Right?
The highlight for me was hearing The Young Dubliners perform “I’ll Tell Me Ma”. It’s my favorite song they do. When I heard the guitar start to play I yelled out “I love this song!” to no one in particular. People looked back at me with huge grins and I got a variety of responses. All of them seemingly in agreement with my sentiment. The song is so melodic, and the tempo builds to a point where I almost thought I know how to Irish dance. Celtic Rock was running through me and I couldn’t get enough of it. As if hearing “I’ll Tell Me Ma” live wasn’t enough, the song was followed by another huge favorite, “The Foggy Dew”. The Depot was in full voice with Keith Roberts. Singing every word. Men were high-fiving and arm in arm with cups high in the air, saluting the great Irish tune.
An incredible fiddle solo by multi-instrumentalists Chas Waltz was followed by the rest of the band returning to the stage to bring the show home. Songs like “Follow Me Up To Carlow” and “Banshee” had the crowd in a frenzy. Closing the show with “If I Should Fall From Grace with God” and “The Rocky Road to Dublin” did nothing to settle down the crowd. I’d say the show was at an all-time high at its conclusion. As it should be. When the lights came on fans were in a lather of sweat and many of them with heaving chests trying to catch their breath. It was an awesome sight to see. There was no question that not only did they have an amazing time at this concert, but we were all properly prepared for St. Patrick’s Day! Tip of the derby cap to The Young Dubliners.
The Young Dubliners will be returning to Utah on April 22, 2023, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Piper Down Pub. Stay tuned to piperdownbub.com for details.