Saturday Night with the Dropkick Murphys
Its been a few months since I last blogged but I am back and open for business once again. Last weekend, I went to the annual hometown stand with the Dropkick Murphys as they played five shows in four days before heading off to Dublin. As always, all the shows stood out because of the set list differentials, the energy of each night, and many other factors. At this point in the weekend, the average fan who attends more than one or two of the shows tends to hit a haze at some point in the weekend, but the true fans know this weekend was one of the best. Joining the Murphys, Blood or Whiskey from Dublin, Ireland and the Mahones from Canada shared the stage with them. Both bands played their hearts out with their irish influenced punk rock. The Dropkick Murphys though, always set the tone for the weekend.
Once again, the house lights fade out and their intro, The Foggy Dew by the Chieftains Ft. Sinead O'Connor, filled the music hall. As the music fades out, a spotlight hits behind the curtain and Jeff DaRosa plays the introduction to The State of Massachusetts and soon after, the curtain is dropped to see the band standing right behind. After their opening number, the band played through a handful of songs including songs from The Meanest of Times, a favorite album for many. Songs such as Famous for Nothing, Shattered, and God Willing set the night off on an energetic and unified tone.
Fan favorites such as Going Out In Style were included in the set but the Dropkick Murphys were not afraid to keep the old guard happy with Good Rats or later on, Boston Asphalt. Newer songs from their most recent release, Singed and Sealed In Blood were included such as the upbeat Out On The Town as well as the catchy baseball themed, Jimmy Collin's Wake. Midway through the set, three lucky contestants were selected to play a riotous game of darts. On the video screen behind the band, a giant list of over twenty songs came up which included old singles, b-sides, covers and much more. The deal was this: If you hit a number, the band played that song; if you missed, Ken slaps the person who missed and, if you were a girl, the guy next to you gets slapped! Humorous, and all in good fun, especially when someone missed!
For those who were lucky enough to hit and win, Vengeance (By the Nipple Erectors), was played first followed by a rousing cover of Iron Chin, by the Bruisers (Shout outs to NH's own Iron Chin!). Lastly, the band played the drinking favorite Alcohol, originally by Gang Green. Soon after, Ken Casey asked if the crowed wanted more "old school songs" and the crowd answered with a solid reply of "Yes!". The band complied with the opening lick to Do or Die and out came Mike McColgan (the Street Dogs/original Dropkick Murphys singer). From there, the band tore through a third of Memories Remain and the second half of Barroom Hero. It was simply one of my favorite parts of the weekend. The rest of the set included The Auld Triangle, Never Forget and the two songs beloved by many of the newer fans, Shipping Up To Boston and Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced. The encore included Worker's Song, Skinhead on the M.B.T.A. and ended with their cover of Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive. Overall, The Dropkicks pleased all of their fans with a high energy set with a fantastic mix of old and new. Though all five shows were a blast, this show included a set that many fans of the band could enjoy. More importantly, the energy from the band was sky high, matched only by their diehard fans.
Blood or Whiskey