If you've been noticing some of your neighbors sporting T-shirts and hats emblazoned with shamrocks, don't worry, you didn't miss an Irish holiday. Instead, you're probably seeing the new clothes they picked up at the House of Pain concert at the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale.
The band, which had a successful run of albums and concerts in the early '90s, promoting themselves as the only Irish-American hip-hop act on the scene, consists of rappers Danny Boy and (Long Island-born) Everlast. Known best for the tremendous hit "Jump Around," the act came apart in the years following. By 1998, Everlast had gone on to create a second musical life as an alternate blues act.
Now back together, curiosity about how the reunited duo would sound almost 20 years after their boom days was certainly on the minds of many Long Island fans -- most evident by how the Crazy Donkey was close to capacity late into the night.
The doors opened at 6:30 p.m., but HoP didn't take the stage until after 12:30 a.m. following a lengthy stream of opening acts (so many in fact that Everlast made reference to the audience's patience).
Although there was a DJ onstage, the music was driven by a full band, so when the rappers performed some of their other popular cuts ("Shamrocks & Shenanigans," "Put Your Head Out," "Top of the Morning To Ya'," "Who's The Man") the result was an instrumental take instead the original House of Pain sound, one produced by DJs (Muggs and Lethal). The crowd seemed pleased enough, either singing along or moshing wildly -- even though Everlast mostly stood still, playing his guitar or having a drink, wearing dark glasses all the while.
Towards the show's end, Danny Boy exited the stage and Everlast performed some of his solo music, turning "What It's Like" into a 15-20 minute musical free-for-all, using it to introduce the band and showcase their skills. But this was just the second-to-last track. Afterward, Danny Boy returned with everybody in the place seemingly ready for the ultimate moment, and sure enough -- coming up on 2 a.m. -- the Donkey audience finally received "Jump Around." It was a quick version, interesting, because at times it seemed as if the entire evening had hinged on hearing that one song. But, by that time, many seemed to be as relieved as they were happy to finally have it happen.
Photo: House of Pain played the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale on April 7, 2011.