The Oxymorons at McGinty's Public House in Silver Spring, 3/23/07

Friday night in the Sprung. Local band the Oxymorons (pictured above) are on the small stage at McGinty’s Public House, sweating through the blues-based rock, doing what all local covers-plus-originals groups do: working to please the crowd.

And suddenly, a huge cheer erupts. A huuuuge cheer, with screaming and clapping and stomping. The song comes to a close. Conga player Paul Hyland is moved to ask, “What just happened?”

This just happened:

Georgetown’s frantic, pulse-pounding, nail-biting last second win over Vanderbilt.

Such is life for bar bands. Though you’re standing on a stage, you may not be the evening’s prime entertainment. McGinty’s kept the TVs on all night. I’ve played gigs where the bar owner wouldn’t let us start until the game ended. But at least he turned the set off when we cranked up the faux Santana. (“You gotta change your evil ways, baby!”)

It’s hard to say what drew the bigger crowd—the band, the big-screen games, or local scenestress Connie Poole‘s surprise 40th birthday party. Certainly, the latter brought out such musical luminaries as the Grandson‘s Chris Watling and Cravin DogsCaldwell Gray. While Watling left his saxophone at home, Gray grabbed a guitar and favored the place with a song. Dogs’ drummer Tom Helf has been sitting in with the ‘Morons of late.

But maybe everyone was there for this:

Yes, the “World’s 2nd Best U2 Show,” 2U.

The New York group brought a respectable mini-stadium lighting rig, a solid sound system, and exactly the right amount of verisimilitude to get the job done. While Brian Desveaux‘s chief resemblance to Bono is height, vocally he turned the place into Wembley Stadium, Dublin accent and all.

And here’s a thing about tribute bands—even though I knew better, it still felt fun to be so close to “the Edge,” “Adam Clayton,” and “Larry Mullen, Jr.” Plus, somehow I didn’t have to pay the cover charge. Hey, 2U, write me and I’ll send the $8.

Here’s a few more shots:

But, yes, March Madness continued, even during “New Year’s Day.”