On the Scene: Young Dubliners at Mesa Theater and Lounge

Jesse Daniels, Vanessa Funches and Systeen Chappelle

Bridgette Harris, Chandra Griffin and Austin Lee

Michelle Nelson and Lizzy Fiege

Young Dubliners Brendan Holmes and Chas Walz, Mesa Theater and Lounge owner Andy Pittman and Young Dubliners Keith Roberts and Bob Boulding

If the Young Dubliners are in town, St. Patty’s Day must be just around the corner.

Luck has it, I was able to go to the band’s show Saturday night at the Mesa Theater and Lounge. As my girlfriend Jordon Statler and I arrived, they were just letting the line of people through the doors.

We managed to find seats at the bar where we could watch for interesting people to feature in this column.

I was looking for a mix of young and not so young fans. I knew I would find someone who had attended nearly every show the Young Dubliners played in Grand Junction during the past 15 years, and I found them at the SWAG table.

Bridgette Harris, her daughter Chandra Griffin and daughter-in-law Austin Lee were shopping for T-shirts. Bridgette told me she has been coming out to see the Dubs for longer than she had been married to her husbands. Wow, that’s one for Ripley’s! It was the first time for Chandra and Austin. Austin’s husband, Christopher Griffin, is in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Washington, D.C.

Time for a cocktail. Bartending were Michelle Nelson and Lizzy Fiege. I’ve known Michelle since she was a wee lass, hanging around with my daughters, Alice and Grace.

Michelle and Lizzy were having a competition with the male bartenders manning the bar upstairs. I wanted to help the women win so I ordered a martini. Michelle makes a good one, using Kettle One vodka, shaken not stirred with a swirl of vermouth and a splash of olive juice in a chilled glass. Yummy, just the way I like it.

Tall Rob Ramsay always stands out in a crowd. Rob was waiting for Charlie Guenther who was coming from dinner at Il Bistro Italiano. I lured them outside to get a photo of them in some better light. Charlie is the assistant superintendent at Grand Valley Irrigation Co. and for some odd reason I really don’t know what Rob does besides go to concerts.

Another couple that stood out, rocking their Rockabilly fashion, was Mike and Jamie Thornburg. I didn’t realize Mike was the drummer for the opening act, The Tankerays. Great band. It will play at Naggy McGee’s on St. Patrick’s Day.

The fun arrived as Vanessa Funches, Jesse Daniels and Systeen Chappelle entered Mesa Theater. Vanessa and Jesse are both on the board of Colorado West Pride. Jesse works at Fantasy and Vanessa oversees Gateway Canyon Resorts’ restaurants Entrada and The Cantina and manages room service. Systeen was visiting from Salt Lake City for the weekend.

I had to get a picture of the band, so Jordon and I made our way down to the Green Room before the Dubliners went on stage. I say down because the performer lounge is located under the stage.

Andy Pittman, owner of the Mesa Theater, joined us so we could get his picture with the band.

The house was packed and The Tankerays and the bartenders got the crowd warmed up nicely. The Young Dubliners proceeded to work the crowd into a frenzy with its unique brand of Celtic rock. The pre-party and the after party took place at Naggy’s, where you’ll find the The Young Dubs hanging out when they’re in town.

It was a another great night, great show and fun people in Happy Valley!

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■ The Grand Junction Centennial Band will play a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Central High School, 550 Warrior Way. The concert is titled “Hollywood Nights” and will feature guest musicians from Caprock Academy. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6–12 and adults age 60 and older. Tickets can be purchased from band members, at Roper Music, gjcentennialband.com and at the door if available. Info: 260-0112.

■ Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Monday with Irish and Celtic music at Naggie McGee’s Irish Pub, 359 Main St. Fifth Reel will play at 5 p.m.; Rocky Mountain Scots, 7 p.m.; The Tankerays, 9 p.m. Info: 424-5840.

Check Friday’s Out & About for additional entertainment events.


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