By Michel Dussack
At this point in their career, the thing Dropkick Murphys are probably most well-known for (besides their music being in The Departed and at Red Sox games) is playing a raucous, lengthy show to an equally raucous and usually very intoxicated crowd. Couple this with the fact that the town of Huntington had a St. Patrickâ€™s Day Parade for five hours before the show, and you get an even drunker crowd than normal. Indeed, I had one person tell me they saw me at the Atlantic City show on Friday (I was not there) and another tell me that it was his third time seeing the band about four times in a five minute span.
Supporting Dropkick Murphys on this tour is the extremely talented Frank Turner and his backing band The Sleeping Souls. He put on a brilliant 45 minute, 10 song set that got the crowd to start moshing before the band they came to see even went on. The song he did this with is a yet to be released number entitled â€˜Four Simple Wordsâ€™ which starts off almost as a waltz with Turner singing â€˜I want to danceâ€™ before kicking into a straight up punk song. Another highlight of his set was the politically charged â€˜Sons of Libertyâ€™ during which Scruffy Wallace from Dropkick Murphys came out to play bagpipes. Before leaving, Frank gave a speech about how rock isnâ€™t supposed to be safe, how it isnâ€™t supposed to be on a raised stage, how there isnâ€™t supposed to be a barrier keeping the crowd from the band, something the audience ate up every word of, though when the scores of crowd surfers during Dropkick Murphys started, Iâ€™m sure the fans up front were appreciative of the security in the front pulling them off of people.
Dropkick Murphys started their set with a punch and rarely let up throughout the night. In fact, it wasnâ€™t until the band played a short acoustic set in the middle of their show did the mosh pits that broke out seemed to calm down. They somehow crammed 26 songs into their 90+ minute set, encompassing nearly all their material (though Tessie was noticeably absent) and played a few songs that hadnâ€™t been played before on this tour. The band also took the opportunity to remind us that New York was their second favorite place to play and goad the crowd by mentioning how much nicer Fenway Park is than the new Yankee Stadium.
Some of the standouts of the night were â€œFields of Athenryâ€™, a traditional Irish folk ballad that the band added significantly more rock to, â€˜Iâ€™m Shipping Up To Bostonâ€™ which had a lot more bite coming right after the previously mentioned acoustic set, and â€˜The Irish Roverâ€™. When the band came back to play their encore, they invited all the ladies to come up on stage for the second song â€˜Kiss Me, Iâ€™m Shitfacedâ€™ though it wasnâ€™t long before members of both sexes were on stage. It seemed that hundreds of people were on stage by the end of the night when the band bid the crowd farewell with â€˜Citizen C.I.A.â€™, something Iâ€™m sure the venue security werenâ€™t too happy about. But hey, itâ€™s like Frank Turner said earlier isnâ€™t it? Punk rock isnâ€™t supposed to be safe.