▣House of Blues | Boston, MA ▣Friday, March 17th 2017
Sometimes a band comes along that not only wins the hearts of the city they’re from, but the whole country as well; staying true to where they came from at all times and never allowing anything to change who they are. Giving back to their city through their music, they are granted the highest honor of being called Boston’s own-Dropkick Murphys.
Founded in 1996 in Quincy, Massachusetts by Ken Casey and former members, The Dropkick Murphys have stayed loyal to their celtic-punk roots. Their folk-Americana songs have represented the city of Boston for over 10 years. Hits like Tessie, I’m Shipping Up to Boston, and the State of Massachusetts have become the anthems of major sporting events. The Dropkick Murphys have helped shape today’s punk scene, not just here in their hometown, but all over the world. With their new album 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory currently out and their supporting tour, the band has never looked stronger.
Which bring us to tonight March 17, 2017 at the House of Blues Boston for the Dropkick Murphys St. Patrick’s Day concert-part of their Hometown Shows, which have become an annual Boston tradition for their fans. Since 2013, the Hometown Shows consist of five days during which the Dropkick Murphys change up their song showcase for their fans from night to night with their biggest night on St. Patrick’s Day. To their loyal fans, there is no better place to celebrate the holiday. And as the lights shut off at the House of Blues, the Foggy Dew song played. Just past 9 o’clock, the Dropkicks opened their set with the opening from their new album 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory with The Lonesome Boatman. They continued with The State of Massachusetts, as the crowd began to crowd surf to the stage. The mosh-pit started early and went hard all night. From up above it looked like a green sea of people. The Irish were well represented here tonight, as flags were raised from the pit.
Dropkicks then played the Irish Rover and Worker’s Song, as the singing from the crowd became louder. Before their next one, Ken would approach the audience -“At this Hometown show we like to do a little experiment -the Masspike side versus the Landsdown St side. And I gotta tell ya, so far that the Landsdown side has destroyed you, every night Masspike, every night! So lets clear it up, make it happen, take it away! Al Bar lead vocals added, if you want it, step it up people, step it up.” The band started to play Johny, I hardly knew ya.., a fan favorite from their 2007 release The Meanest of Times. The crowd sang along with fists in the air. They went on to play another new one; Rebels with a Cause. Then, from their 3rd studio album Sing it Loud, Sing it Proud –Heros From Our Past. The shenanigans continued…
Dropkicks would go on to play twenty more songs -a showcase that would bring every emotion out of their fans. Sweat, blood, tears were all present here, exactly what was expected from a Dropkicks show on St. Patrick’s Day. People were looking to have fun and push the boundaries, but also kept the Boston camaraderie alive. The crowd was full of friendly people, new friendships and lots of hands helping their fellow brothers off the floor in the mosh pit. After all, that’s what Dropkicks music is about -respect, pride, staying true to yourself, giving back to their people and of course, having a lot of fun.
Dropkicks would close their set with The Boys Are Back and I’m Shipping Up To Boston, as Bar let the front row sing with him. Finally closing with Until the Next Time off their new album and even thought it was a new song, the crowd sang right along with them. Casey would thank the crowd as the lights went out for the second time during their set. Chants of ‘Dropkick Murphys! Dropkick Murphys! Dropkick Murphys! Dropkick Murphys!’ filled the venue.
Shortly after, Dropkicks would come out for their encore -closing the night with Dirty Water, the Standells cover that has become a favorite here in Boston. For the last three, Casey would invite the girls from the audience to join them on stage. And, a sea of woman would rushed the stage to get the opportunity to sing with the Dropkicks. The band serenaded them with Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced, as the girls sang along. They would continue with Skinhead on MBTA and finally closing with Alcohol, as we all sang and danced for the last time.
What an emotional but fun night Dropkicks put on for their native fans. There is a reason why this is an annual event -the intensity and passion they bring is unrivaled. There is a reason why people insist you see the Dropkick’s live show, why it’s on every Bostonians bucket list. We are positive that once you see them, you will fall in love. Hats off to you Dropkicks -for your music, love and memories that you have created with your Boston fans. Until the Next time!
Review & Photos: Carlos Londono
Check out the band website for more info!