Dropkick Murphys, Clutch, and Hatebreed kicked off their fall tour September 20th at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. This was my first time shooting this venue and it was a great place for this kind of show. About the size of the DCU center with lots of room for moshing and crowd surfing.
Hatebreed was out first and really riled up the crowd. They are on most dates for the tour, with Amigo the Devil Lead and Russ Rankin (of Good Riddance) filling in on some others.
Lead Jamey Jasta actually was getting a bit concerned how riled up the crowd was getting at one point, asking them to cool it with the crowdsurfing and form a pit instead. Unfortunately, he was right. Someone went over the top and fell. Had to be taken out on a stretcher. He was waving his arm to the crowd on the way out, but geez, be careful out there.
Clutch was out next. The crowd was ready, yelling out a big cheer as the “Clutch” backdrop rose behind the stage. These guys have a great bluesy hard rock sound and you need to give them a listen. They played songs from a wide array of their library covering some of my favorites including A Quick Death in Texas, The Regulator, and Electric Worry. If you don’t know these guys, go listen to those songs right now. We’ll still be here.
Dropkick Murphys closed out the show. I’ve photographed these guys a bunch of times, and it’s always fun. Dropkick is a hard Irish punk band that, of course, is a huge hit in their home state of Massachusetts. The fans are totally into the music and the band absolutely loves interacting with the crowd. (and the crowd loves them back). The normal instruments you’d find in a rock band are augmented with a banjo, accordion, bagpipe, and fife, helping to give them their unique Irish spin on hard punk music.
They played a huge 21 song set, covering a lot of ground. The back of the stage was filled with a huge video screen showing graphics and video related to the song. The video played to Johnny We Hardly Knew Ya was pretty touching.
DKM always (well, at least in every show I’ve seen) invites the fans up on stage for the final few songs. First the ladies, and then everyone else. The tradition continued that night, closing down the show with Shipping Up To Boston, and Until the Next Time. Perfect way to close the show.
On my way out, I passed a booth with swag from The Claddagh Fund, DKM’s charitable fund. I grabbed a t-shirt. The price they were asking for the shirt that was about the cost of what you’d pay for non-charitable t-shirts from other bands. Don’t be a cheapskate, buy one. They do a lot of good stuff.
You can see DKM, Clutch, and Hatebreed during the fall tour in these cities. I also have a suspicion that DKM will be in Boston for St. Patrick’s day.