Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dropkick Murphys at the Lansdowne Pub - March 17th

After a long stint of shows at House of Blues, we went back for not a show but a boxing match.  Danny O'Connor initially was suppose to fight but due to a shoulder injury, he was pulled off of the card.  After watching a few different boxing matches at the House of Blues, a group of us left to go get in line for the Lansdowne Pub show.  For those of you wondering, how the hell did anyone get in, you had to buy a ticket through the band which came with a wristband.  The last two years they have done an intimate double set show at Brighton Music Hall, this year they got even more intimate with the Lansdowne Pub.  The pub is also a room that holds just over three hundred people, and it was fantastic!

 It was simply the best show of the weekend.  Right before midnight struck, the dark barroom got even darker and their old intro song, "If The Kids Are United" by Sham 69 came on over the PA.  There was no fancy lighting done or banners hung, it was a simple yet intense barroom show for the die hards.  Soon enough, out the band came with Ken Casey on the microphone saying, "Are you ready for this shit or what?!" and off they went.  They opened with a little surprise though! To kick off the show right at midnight, Independence Day was the opener (originally by the Bruisers) which was Al Barr's old band.  For all the skinheads in the room, it was fists flying and in the air.  Right after, Ken again exclaimed, "A little Bruisers cover for ya!  Sing Loud, Sing Proud front to back, motherfucker!" and kicked right into For Boston and the crowd started moving instantly.  During this set, it was great to see some songs performed I either haven't seen before or I haven't seen in a long time.  This also was what the band was leading up to all weekend with songs from their third album in the set.

Songs such as The Legend of Finn MacCumhail were a first for me in the ten years I have been seeing them, though my memory could be a bit off.  They busted out the classics such as Which Side Are You On?, Heroes Of Our Past and Forever.  The upbeat, fist raising and boot stomping tune, The Gauntlet got the crowd fired up as did the drinking sing along, Good Rats.  One of the many highlights was New American Way, The Torch, and Fortunes Of War.  During Fortunes Of War, Al Barr gave a speech about the song and who they wrote it for and dedicated it in memory of Brian Deneke who was a punk rocker murdered in a small town in Texas.  That was easily one of the more emotionally filled speeches and anybody who was been bullied, harassed or otherwise for who they are, easily related.
Anyhow, hearing A Few Good Men was a gem as well as Ramble and Roll and Caps and Bottles which was originally on the band's Boys On The Docks EP.  Included also was the sing along Wild Rover and ended the album set with The Spicy McHaggis Jig.  The band also added in a few songs to   to close out.  Ironically, Pipebomb On Lansdowne was added in plus Euro Trash with Scott once again.  One song I have never seen live was I'll Begin Again from their Meanest of Times album and promptly closed out with Citizen C.I.A. from Warrior's Code.  It was a fantastic set overall to see some songs I have never seen live before plus to hear their third album in full was a blast, as well.

After a quick change over, Scruffy Wallace walked out on stage and opened right up with Cadence To Arms.  Thats right, they played another set which was their first album front to back!  Though I have already seen this done two years ago, it was awesome to see again as its my overall favorite record by them.  The band walked out one by one and kicked right into the rest of the song followed by the title track itself.  Once again, the room was in full force and motion as they rattled off the first few songs, including Get Up, Never Alone, and Caught In A Jar.  During the set, Ken pulled up two good friends of mine, Mike Franey (the other writer for Run Don't Walk) and Chris Arias.  They were given the opportunity to sing Memories Remain with the band which they did really well.  Some of my favorites that come off this record were performed such as Road Of The Righteous, Far Away Coast and Fightstarter Karaoke one of the fastest and barroom brawling songs by the band.

The bands first song ever written, Barroom Hero incited much crowd participation and revelry.  Hearing the tune Third Man In was a blast because its one they rarely ever play and that goes for the upbeat Tenant Enemy #1, as well.  The traditional Finnegan's Wake was performed with much energy and so was Noble.  The band unexpectedly added in John Law and had a female fan sing it and she sang it relatively well.  Up next was Boys On The Docks and the end all be all, Skinhead On The MBTA.  Now, if they let the fans up on the tiny stage, it would have turned into a disaster fast so as a result, the band came into the crowd.  They moved the crowd back a good six feet or farther and played face to face with the crowd.  Nothing is cooler than seeing a band do just that.

Just when you though it was over though, it wasn't!  The band had four more songs to kick out and first, Alcohol by Gang Green was performed which set the crowd off instantly.  This was followed by once again, Takin' Care Of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive which was one of the longer songs of the night.  The quickly bursted into On The Attack which is an extremely fast and  fun hardcore punk song essentially about the Boston hardcore scene.  For this number, featured on guest vocals was Sean Tuohey from Penalty Kill (go listen to them!) as its become tradition in the last few years for him to join them on stage for that one.  The band finally finished out with Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones in full.

Overall, this was easily the best show of the weekend and I had a fantastic time.  I always feel that the band is really in their element in a smaller club once in awhile yet have no problem bringing that same energy to a larger venue.  Seeing older songs performed or songs I haven't seen in years it feels like is always an amazing time, too.  It's great to see the band appreciate the die hards as much as they do to the other fans, as well.  In the end, this weekend was one for the books.  Til next time!


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