On the Saw Doctors at Mohegan Sun

This would be the place.

I have to tell you:  I feel like pretty hot stuff.  You see, I’ve never been on anyone’s list before.  You know: when you walk up to the ropes at the entrance to the show, such as the Saw Doctors show at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut Saturday night, and the hostess ushers you in to a reserved table.  You don’t know?  Neither did I, until I went to the casino with Tommy and Suzanne Strempek Shea.  And was on the list.

Yes, Davy?

This was my third Saw Doctors show.  This was perhaps Tommy and Suzanne’s millionth.  Our seats were in a banquette off to the side, where we sat with the Feeneys, Jerry and Chris, who had won tickets from a radio station in Ireland (what are the chances?).  The sightlines were rather awkward–but it didn’t matter, really, because once the band took the stage, no one sat down anyway.  The five of us ended up in the aisle, dancing, jumping, singing, shouting, punching the air.  There was a family kind of feel to the show, with perfect strangers dancing together, or locking arms and swaying (and I admit to being one of them:  I hope the women from the banquette next to ours didn’t mind terribly much).  That, I’ve come to find, it the inherent joy of a Saw Doctors show, whether in a casino or in the Port City Music Hall in Portland:  the incredible loyalty of the fans, and the feeling that they’re (we’re?) all in this together.  Who cares if Van Halen is playing in the other concert venue at Mohegan Sun?  The Saw Doctors have them beat, for us, hands down.

This year began with Rickie O’Neill taking over on the drums for the band.  He might look like a young pup, but he threw himself into the old standards as though he’d been playing Saw Doctors songs since birth.  From the opening “N 17” (sadly, there were no signs in evidence anywhere!) all the way through to his drum-stick twirling at the end of “Hay Wrap” in the encore, he and his new friends meshed with each other, and meshed with the crowd.  After the show he told me it’s really been great, and he’s been pleased about how well things are working out for him.  Well, Rickie, if those people at the front of the stage all wanting to grasp hands with you is any indication, it’s working out for the fans as well.

I can’t think of a song they played that missed.  Well, I can’t think of a song I’ve ever heard them play that missed, though I admit to a certain bias.  “Galway and Mayo” is a song that always makes me nostalgic for my own father, who was a great believer in car rides around the countryside after dinner; I know so well what Leo is singing about in that song.  “Clare Island” is such a crowd-pleaser; this was one song where I was swaying side-to-side with strangers, singing harmony.  I’ve always loved “About You Now,” because it’s such a great song for belting out in the car on the highway with the windows open–but it was much better when the crowd and the Saw Doctors were singing along with me at the show.  Also infectious was the group hilarity engendered when Davy sang those naughty songs (they’re so good at naughty, those guys) back-to-back, “Bless Me Father” and “That’s What She Said.”  Missing was “I Useta Love Her,” one of their naughtiest–and though the playlist says it was in the encore…well, no, it wasn’t.  Suzanne and I were leaping up and down at the end of “Why Do I Always Want You,” and when it was done, I shouted to her that we had to save something for “Hay Wrap”–which came up immediately after.

Either way, it was, as always, an energizing show.  Who cares about Van Halen?  Not I.  Not the rest of the folks in the Wolf’s Den.  We were busy having a hell of a good time.


Because I was with Suzanne and Tommy, and they go back with the Saw Doctors some twenty years, I was invited backstage after the show.  Swoon.  More on that later.  Once I’ve recovered.

Post postscript:

I have written about the Saw Doctors before, of course.

Here, and here for concerts.  Here for their last CD release.


  1. Chris Feeney

    You absolutely captured the energy, enthusiasm, and belongingness that was felt by anyone who attended that show! They are, without a doubt an amazing live band! It was such a memorable night! Thanks so much Anne!


    • Chris! It was so good to meet you and your husband last night! Have you seen that lovely picture Suzanne has of you with your flag? And yes, Leo noticed it–he said so backstage.


  2. sara

    Seeing them in Cleveland on the 23rd – canna wait!


  3. This is the fourth blog, of your site I actually
    read through. But yet I actually love this 1, “On
    the Saw Doctors at Mohegan Sun Anne’s Awesome Adventures” the very best. Take care ,Alejandra



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