Monday, March 31, 2014

Dropkick Murphys Live at The House of Blues (March 13th, 2014)

The last time I was in Boston for St. Paddy's Day, I only caught one Dropkick Murphys show in Lowell. This year I had tickets to all six shows and couldn't have been more excited; attending all the Dropkick shows in a St. Paddy's Week is something I have always wanted to do. As I excited as I was, the trip got off to a bit of a rough start due to a lovely March snowstorm. After a flight being forced to turn around, and another two cancelled, I finally arrived in Boston a day late and with only a couple hours to spare before the first show of the week. In true St. Paddy's form, my first stop was McGreevy's, not my hotel, to meet up with friends and have a quick pint. From there it was on to the Buck to check in and then a short jaunt to the House of Blues about a half an hour before showtime.

It was a great feeling to be back on Lansdowne Street, in line for another DKM show at the House of Blues. As always, when the lights dimmed and the first notes of the Foggy Dew echoed through the hall a chill ran down my spine. The Murphys opened up with "The Boys Are Back", the first track off their latest album Signed and Sealed in Blood, and from there launched into the setlist that they had been playing for the majority of the tour. There were a number of highlights and treats in the set, including the awesome tune "Never Forget" off of the album Meanest of Times. It's a great tune driven by the bagpipes that seems to be forgotten at the tail end of the album. I very much enjoyed seeing it played live along with many other songs from the same album (MOT is one of my favourites by the band and a really underrated record). It was great to hear "Famous For Nothing", "Flannigan's Ball" and "Shattered" back in the set, as I haven't seen either played live in quite some time.

They followed the one-two punch of "The Boys Are Back" and "Never Forget" with "Get Up", a classic off of Do or Die. They weren't done with the oldies either, as they added many more songs off of their debut album including "Far Away Coast", "3rd Man In", "Finnegan's Wake", "Barroom Hero", and "Road of The Righteous". It was great to hear so many songs off of my all time favourite album, and goes to show that the band has not forgotten their roots or the people that helped get them where they are now. They could easily just play all the new tunes that people want to hear, but they remember the old guard that has been there since the beginning and they make sure they get their fill of old songs too.

One of the funniest moments of the night came during the group's rendition of "Peg of My Heart" which was a little rough, as the band explained they had not played it in a while. Anyways, their was a collective eyeroll from those of us along the barricade after a bit of a stumble by the band, which bassist Ken Casey caught and was quick to call us on. His words were something to the effect of "95% of you don't know we messed up that song, but our friends and biggest fans in the front all know and are rolling their eyes at us".

The rest of the setlist was a varied and complete one, the only albums not getting any playtime being The Gang's All Here and Warrior's Code, which was a little unfortunate but it would be remedied on the following nights. Still, we got many great songs from their extensive back catalogue like "Black Velvet Band", "Good Rats", "Which Side Are You On". "Worker's Song" and "Fields of Athenry". There were also many songs off of their newer albums such as "Going Out in Style", "Rose Tattoo", and "Out Of Our Heads" as the band strives to make sure there's something for everybody at their shows.

 Even with the great selection of songs the crowd was a little sleepy throughout the night and the band seemed a little put off by it as they feed off the crowd just as much as the crowd feeds off of them (Ken would go on to remark that Friday's crowd was much better and I have to agree with him on that point). That being said it was still an enjoyable night with many high points, including Nora Parkington coming out to sing "The Dirty Glass" which was followed by an awesome medley of "Taking Care of Business' (BTO) and "We're an American Band" (Grand Funk Railroad), which I had been eagerly waiting to see live. I was skeptical when I first heard they were doing it but it really worked, as the piano fits the Murphy's sound so well and Al Barr's voice is perfect for the song.

The set ended just as every other Dropkick set does, with the customary stage invasion during "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced" (for the girls) and "Skinhead On The MBTA" (for the guys). The rest of the encore was comprised of an AC/DC cover, "Highway To Hell" instead of the usual "TNT", as well as the band's classic anthem "Boys On The Docks".

After it was all said and done it was a good start to the weekend, barring the somewhat lukewarm audience (But we can blame that on an early weekday start with little time to drink!). The show left my heart racing and ready for more. I was all geared up for Friday's show before I had even left the building.

Artist Info:
Dropkick Murphys on Facebook
Dropkick Murphys Official Site

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