Photos and Review by Jeff Palmucci
Is there anything better to do on St Patrick’s Day than to spend it at the House of Blues seeing Dropkick Murphys? No, there isn’t. I should know. This is my second time covering the St. Patrick’s Day show in a row.
Unfortunately, I was a bit late and missed the first opener, Bim Scala Bim. The reason being: I was waiting in line for my photo pass at the “guests of the band” window. That’s right, they had a whole ticket window reserved for guests of the band. And, the line was long. In fact, once you got inside, the second and third floors were reserved for guests. That is a ton of space. These guys are truly a hometown band, and had a lot of friends come out to the show to kick off St. Patty’s day.
Yup, I said “kick off.” This was a matinee with doors at noon and the show starting slightly before the scheduled start time of one. Because of the early hour, a lot of kids came along with their parents to see the show. Check out this photo, DKM’s youngest fan! The bands brought their kids too. I saw a young boy on stage with the roadies helping set up for the DKM set after Agnostic Front. He looked like he was having a blast! I saw Vinnie Stigma playing to a kid on stage right during their set. Freakin’ cute! The environment was perfectly appropriate for young kids at that hour, as long as you stayed out of the mosh pit. Next year I’m going to take my own kids along.
After Bim Scala Bim, Agnostic Front came out for a 30 minute set. These guys lean toward the harder end of punk and put on a pretty intense set. Vinnie Stigma and Roger Miret had a great time working the crowd. At one point, Roger started to stoke the crowd up for some audience participation. He divided the audience up into halves, team “A” and team “B.” Oh great, I thought, another lame bit where each half of the audience tries to out-shout the other. However, that is not where he was going with this at all. “When I say ‘go’, Team A, rush Team B!” And they did. Instant mosh pit! Pretty fun.
Dropkick Murphys came out next to enthusiastic shouts from the home town crowd. This was the 3rd out of 4 Boston shows, and all were sold out. The show, as always, is a spectacle. If you’ve never heard them before, they put out a compelling mix of hardcore punk and Irish folk. They mix up the more standard rock instruments with banjo, accordion and bagpipe. The live shows are always hugely energetic, with most of the members of the band getting down and interacting directly with the crowd. They even had a line of step dancers come out for a few numbers.
Dropkick Murphys have a recurring habit of contributing some of their show proceeds to charitable organizations. This year, in partnership with Deathwish Coffee, they sold off a bunch of coffee mugs, donating $10 for every one to their charity, The Claddagh Fund. Want one? Too slow! They are sold out, raising $20,000 for the fund.
One of my favorite parts of a Dropkick Murphys show is the last couple of songs, when they ask the audience up on stage. For the first song (this year it was Shipping Up to Boston) it is usually a couple of pretty girls. Because, well, you’d do the same thing if you were them. The last song (Until the Next Time) was especially reserved for everyone else.
A great way to end a great show. Catch them this summer on their tour with another great Irish band, Flogging Molly.