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This St. Patrick’s Day week I was touched with the luck of the Irish as I was fortunate enough to take in not one, but two of the Dropkick Murphy’s 20th anniversary tour dates. The 27 date tour kicked off back in February at the House of Blues Cleveland and brought them back home to Boston to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day week in true Dropkick’s fashion.
The first New England stop on the tour was at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March, 11th. I can tell you that there is no crowd that I feel more at home in,than a crowd of Dropkick’s fans. Rowdy and tattooed, the group’s faithful following flooded the arena as openers Darkbuster and Tiger Army opened the show. As a perfect example of the Dropkicks fun and rambunctious energy, the only remaining original band member Ken Casey manned a t-shirt gun from the rear of the arena. Shooting shirts into the crowd and towards the stage at the Darkbusters the energy in the venue was electric from the start.
By the time DKM took the stage, the arena was full. Punk rock kids turned adults showed up in their St. Patty’s finest and kilts to celebrate the holiday with the Boston born and bred Celtic punk group.
The Dropkick’s opened the set with a short documentary style video, which chronicled the bands 20 year journey from the groups formation, through the addition of current members including now staple and front man, Al Barr.
At the wrap of the video, the familiar sounds of dual guitar, bass drum, accordian, screaming fans and the beloved bagpipes rose as the Dropkick Murphys hit the stage. To the sound of “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”, Al Barr instantly started interacting with the fans as only Al can do.
The 24-song set-list included songs from the Dropkick Murphys vast catalog of music, wrapping with the forever classic, “Shipping Up to Boston” which in fact was their next destination… home. And I eagerly followed them to Landsdowne St.
Walking into the third night of 3 consecutive sold out St. Patrick’s Day shows (March 16th, 17th and 18th) , I knew that no doubt the group was tired. But they certainly didn’t show it.
There is nothing quite like seeing the Dropkick Murphys in Boston, and the hometown version of the show was that of Mohegan but on steroids. Proud Boston natives showed up in hordes, a line around the block more than ready to take part in their annual tradition of St. Patrick’s Day and the Dropkick Murphys.
The crowd was nothing short of electric and quickly got primed with opener, Boston based band Heretix. The Dropkicks again opened with 20th anniversary video and dove right into opening track “Prisoners Song”. Again Al was leaning into the crowd as they sang along to the lyrics word for word at the top of their lungs. Three floors of die-hard Boston fans devoured every moment of the set as the group opened and closed with an unrivaled amount of energy. When the set wrapped, fans lost their minds for more. To which the Dropkicks answered with a 5 song encore including a killer cover of Sam Cooke’s “Having a Party”.
The Dropkick Murphys have been at it for 20 years, and never disappoint. Some would say that they are becoming as much of a staple on Fenway as the Red Sox. See you next St. Patrick’s Day boys!