Dallas, TX – The Kessler Theater hosted the Killdares as they performed their final show after 20 incredible years. The Killdares, a Dallas-based national, act has played festivals and venues all over the U.S. Diehard fans from Houston, Chicago, Idaho and Ireland showed up Friday night to witness the sold out closing performance.
Locally, the Killdares are most famous for playing the Texas State Fair. They grew their audience one corny dog at a time over a span of 17 years. Through the years that local audience clamored for more. Not only have the Killdares been filling venues across the metroplex, they have released seven albums, including their latest CD Steal the Sky. With many Irish festivals throughout the country, the Killdares were always popular, headlining many of those festivals.Violinist Roberta Rast and bagpiper Matt Willis were mesmerizing Friday night with their dueling Celtic vibe. Rast, a six-time National Fiddle Champion, is a poster child for violin precision and elegance, never missing a note with seemingly effortless poise. Willis smiles as he fills his bagpipes and challenges Rast to center stage duels throughout the show. Along with guitarist Mike Urness, bassist Gary Thorne and founding drummer Tim Smith, the Killdares are a full dancing on the table Celtic sound.
It was a somber moment when the Killdares finished their set Friday night. With Smith holding back tears, he spoke about how his mother wanted him to attend medical school yet he pursued his dreams of a career in music. He also reminisced about the Killdares playing clubs in Deep Ellum and one club owner that said they would never play music in DFW with that sound. Within a few years, they played five gigs at that particular venue and never looked back.Closing out the show Friday, Smith had the audience participate in an acapella version of “The Parting Glass”, a traditional Celtic song often sung at the end of a gathering of friends.
For more Killdares, be sure to check out our 2015 interview with the band here.
Have you seen the Killdares in concert? If so tell us about your favorite memory.
Check out more photos from The Killdares final show below: