Wednesday, September 28, 2016
I Just Dropped In...To Catch The Dropkick Murphys
The Dropkick Murphys played the Fillmore last night with all the energy & enthusiasm they have been bringing for twenty years now. The crowd was raucous, as one would expect, with quite a large number of transplanted Massholes present for the party.
The opener was a local Denver outfit known as the Potato Pirates, purveyors of an aggressive Ska-Punk sound that has gotten tighter over the years - it had been awhile since I had last seen the band and all their practice and hard work playing in local clubs has definitely paid off.
Jesse Ahern, a stalwart member of the Boston club scene for a number of years (he was with the Ramblin' Souls for awhile) followed the PP's (yes, I did...) and though there was a bit of irritating technical difficulty with an amp on the far right of the stage for the first couple of songs, he and a quartet of musicians he has now allied himself with, the Roots Rock Rebel Revue, kicked out serious songs that belied roots as far back as Woody Guthrie & Lead Belly.
They finished their set with the Reggae classic Police & Thieves as if they were channeling the Clash. Loved it even if Jr. Murvin would disapprove.
When the curtain went up for the Dropkick Murphys (yes, there was an actual curtain, and it seemed to be having Spinal Tap-esque difficulty rising for a few brief moments) the 3500 or so present exploded, with a pit of several hundred rollickin' moshers forming within seconds.
The band was in great form, opening with their interpretation of the classic Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya (which, for an anti-war song, sure gets a lot of people up and shoving each other in a hurry). That established the tone for the night, though there were a few shifts in momentum (they performed their cover of Which Side Are You On about 10 minutes in).
Of course, they broke out Tessie about halfway through the show, which had all the BoSox fans in the place (and there seemed to be thousands of them) singing along as if it was 2004 or 2007 again...but the rest of us who were Rockies fans collectively gritted our teeth (for those not in the know, Tessie is the Boston Red Sox anthem, and the BoSox swept the Rox in the 2007 WS in four straight games).
Just a couple of songs after that nearly unbearable sing-along though, the band rocked out with a cover of The Cars New Wave hit Just What I Needed, a song I sang along with at the top of my lungs - that was super cool!
A four song encore included the big hit Shipping Out To Boston, and after the DM concert tradition of women in the audience joining them on stage for Kiss Me, I'm Sh*tfaced, which was followed by men joining them onstage for Skinhead on the MTA, the night was wrapped up with a cool as a Southie sipping a Stout rendition of Sam Cooke's Having A Party.
All in all, a very good night & a great concert, made even better by the fact that even though the Dropkick Murphys are very politically active, they let their music carry their message - no grandstanding to a captive audience that for the most part just wanted to come to a show to shrug off all the election year BS and be entertained for an evening.
For that, I thank the members of the band as heartily as I can...though I'm still not going to be rooting for the Red Sox.