A howling good time for Saint Patrick’s Day

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When it comes to my nights out, I usually try to keep clear of the EpiCentre — that’s mostly because I work there and I know how crazy it can get. But I won a free VIP party to Howl at the Moon on St. Paddy’s Day, and realizing I’ve never actually been to Howl, I figured I’d brave the crowds and give it a shot.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out the EpiCentre was more like a ghost town in comparison to its Saturday shenanigans. Howl at the Moon was only semi-full; in fact, there wasn’t even a wait to get in the door. But the crowd was more than ready to find their Irish roots in the bottom of their beer glasses. As the hours rolled on, the crowd did thicken out a little.

Beer specials included 2 for 1 Irish Car Bombs for $8, Irish Ice Tea Bones for $8 and Green Beer for $3. And to get a little taste of the Irish, there was a complimentary buffet of Shepherd’s Pie and Corn Beef and Cabbage.

As far as décor went, there were the usual three leaf clovers and pots of gold, but on top of the regulars, there was another green guy sitting at the stage (and he wasn’t a leprechaun). As a little symbol of Irish luck for the musicians, there was a green Kermit resting on the piano — he didn’t perform though, he must have been feeling a little froggy.

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Kermit wasn’t the only thing on stage that night. A birthday boy ended up geting roasted, as the entire audience raised their pinkies in tune to the “It’s Really Small” song.  And it was pretty small . . . his five minutes of fame, that is. But for that short time, everyone was involved in the roast. The mirrors behind the pianos also had some humorous messages written on them all throughout the night. Comments ranged from Happy Birthdays to "Christine swallows for a good time call 704-604-XXXX."

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And as Red Hot Chili Peppers' “Rollercoaster of Love” played in the background, we got a little Coyote Ugly as the bar and wait staff started dancing on the bar tops and stage.

When we first arrived, Irish music filled the place, but when the musicians came out, the Irish sounds got tuned down. The dueling pianists played some of the usual bar classics ("Hotel California" and "Sweet Caroline") and some humorous picks, too (like "Baby Got Back"), everything to get a bar crowd performing their own version of an Irish tap dance. But it was a St Patrick’s Day bash, and as far as the Irish themed hits went, well, there were none.

My friends and I left when our party was over, which was a little early. But it paid off. As we walked away, my friend found her pot of gold ... well, some of it. A security guard handed her gold tokens for her festiveness — she was doing an Irish jig around the EpiCentre.

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