The Irish rock quintet the Fenians realized that the best way to experience the band is on the concert stage. Recorded at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana, CA (on June 26, 1999), the resulting 13-track set, Band of Rogues, plays like one big party -- you can easily picture the crowd hoisting their beers in the air and dancing the night away. As with their ensuing albums, the Fenians mix originals with traditional Irish classics here, as evidenced by the mandolin and sax-led "The San Patricios" (whose beginning sounds like it's straight out of an Ennio Morricone spaghetti Western film score), as well as a stark yet beautiful album-closing rendition of "Danny Boy." And it turns out that renowned session man (and former Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers member) Jeff "Skunk" Baxter must be a Fenians admirer, as he stops by to lend some guitar work on "Coal Tattoo." Band of Rogues serves as a fine Fenians primer.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato