Friday, April 4, 2014

Dropkick Murphys Live at The House of Blues (March 14th, 2014)

Friday. Night #2. Excitement permeated the air once again as Dropkick Murphys' most loyal fans lined the Lansdowne Street. This was my first experience seeing Dropkicks on back to back nights, though I came close this past summer but they were forced to postpone their Toronto show. This show saw an opening set from The Rival Mob in addition to Skinny Lister and Lucero, who had been the support acts for the entire tour.
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When the Murphys came on stage the show was electric right from the start. the crowd was alive and much more rowdy than the first night, something Ken Casey was quick to point out.The first song of the night was "Hang 'em High", the first track off of the bands album from 2011, Going Out In Style. If there's one thing that DKM excels at it is crafting an opening song that sends the crowd into a frenzy, and this song is no exception. from there the band went into "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya", which to be honest is not one of my favourite tracks but it always comes off well live.

As I mentioned in the review from the first night, nothing off of The Gang's All Here or Warrior's Code was played. That was remedied early in the set, as the third song of the night was the title track from Gang's. Later in the set we also got to see "Boston Asphalt", another awesome tune off of the band's second album and one of my favourites. Right after they played "The Gang's All Here" the band went into "Sunshine Highway" off of Warrior's Code and later played the title track as well, a song about Lowell boxing legend Micky Ward. The first block of songs was finished off with Bastards On Parade, a slower song but one of the standout's from Blackout.

Again, the set was a very diverse one as the band played at least one song from every album. And as if that was not enough, twenty-two of the twenty-seven songs were different than the first night. As always, DKM aims to please their fans and recognized that many of us were attending multiple concerts and that we wouldn't want to see the same set twice. Luckily their back catalogue is so extensive they can play an almost entirely different set every night and have people go home happy.

At one point in the set our friend Scott Richter was brought up on stage to sing one the band's oldest songs, from the Boys On The Docks EP, "Eurotrash". Scott and a few others had requested it for quite some time and finally the band learned it for the 2014 celebrations. In his trademark style Scott spent most of the song running up and down the barricade, belting out the lyrics with as much ferocity as he could muster. He ended the song with an epic stage dive into the crowd, much to the chagrin of the HOB security.

Continuing on the topic of old songs, a number of tunes off of the first three albums were played. In addition to the previously mentioned songs off of Gang's, the band played "Caught In A Jar", "Get Up", and "Never Alone" from Do or Die; and "The Gauntlet", "Rocky Road To Dublin", "Wild Rover", "Good Rats", and "The Torch" from Sing Loud Sing Proud. Other songs that made the cut were "Worker's Song" from Blackout, and a number off of Signed and Sealed in Blood; including "Don't Tear Us Apart", "Jimmy Collin's Wake", and "Rose Tattoo". "Tomorrow's Industry" was a great song to hear, and one I haven't seen the band play since they toured in support of Meanest of Times.

The encore started with "Baba O'Riley", originally by The Who. Always one of my favourite Dropkick covers and the band kills it live. The blending of the banjo and the piano in the opening is just plain awesome. After Shipping Up To Boston the girls were brought up on stage for "The End Of The Night", the closer from the new album and in all honest a song I greatly prefer over "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced". Then, once again, it was time for the guy's stage invasion during "Skinhead On The MBTA", always a chaotic affair. The encore was then closed out with the hardcore track "Citizen C.I.A", from Warrior's Code.

Friday was another great night with the Murphys. I got to see some rare gems that they never play live, as well as some favourites both old and new. The crowd was a much better, more lively one, as evidenced by the constant feeling of being crushed up against the barricade. My first time seeing DKM on back to back nights was a memorable affair, setting the bar high for the double header that was to come the next day.

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