Formed in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1996, Dropkick Murphys have long been a household staple for anyone who loves Celtic punk. With a discography spanning nine studio albums, multiple compilations, numerous EP’s, and countless music videos, the band has proven that they can withstand the test of time and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. For years the band has supported their albums by embarking on an annual St. Patrick’s Day Tour where they take their energetic live shows to fans around the world. This year the band has kept with that tradition and they are just a few dates into their St. Patrick’s Day 2019 Tour.
On Sunday night, the band rolled through the South Side Ballroom to give a dose of Celtic punk to the Texas crowd. The band brought along supporting acts Amigo the Devil, Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One, and Booze and Glory to get the crowd warmed up. When the show started at 6:45, fans had already slipped into their kilts, thrown back a few shots of Jameson, and filled the venue in anticipation for Dropkick Murphys.
Right at 9:30, the lights dimmed and the sounds of tradition Celtic folk resonated from the PA. Transitioning into the unmistakable bagpipe intro of “The Boys Are Back” from their 2013 release, Signed and Sealed in Blood, the crowd went into a frenzy as Dropkick Murphys charged onto the stage. Beautiful Celtic knotwork banners were a perfect backdrop to get the crowd into the Irish spirit. The dual vocal attack of Ken Casey and Al Barr had the crowd singing along to every word as the band continued on with “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya,” from the 2007 release The Meanest of Times, and “Blood” from their most recent 2017 release, 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory. I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed another vocal duo bring the energy like those two did on Sunday night. Covering every inch of the floor, even stepping onto pedestals at the front barricade to get face-to-face with fans, Ken and Al demonstrated that they are pure entertainers. Drummer Matt Kelly kept the rhythm in check while Jeff DaRosa kept the traditional sounds alive with banjo and guitar. Tim Brennan churned out punk riffs of his own and offered up some entertainment on the accordion. If it’s not apparent that Dropkick Murphys is full of multi-talented instrumentalist, vocalist, and all around master performers, I don’t know what else to tell you.
The 20+ song set spanned the band’s entire career and had something for fans both old and new. Beers fell to the ground as unsuspecting fans had crowd surfers landing on top of them near the front of the stage. Dancing, singing, and smiles filled the room as the Dropkick Murphys poured every ounce of energy they had onto that stage. During a short encore, the band brought numerous fans onstage to dance the night away as the band closed the set with crowd favorites, “Rose Tattoo” from Signed and Sealed in Blood, and “Shipping Up to Boston” from their 2005 release, The Warrior’s Code. The grand finale came when the band finished the set with their cover of AC/DC’s classic, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” If you have a chance to catch this tour, I highly recommend it. Stop by the merch booth as well, they had a wide variety of items to satisfy any of your Celtic punk needs!
– Corey Smith
– click to enlarge photos –
Dropkick Murphys 2019 Tour Dates
FEB 25 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
FEB 27 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
MAR 1 – New Orleans, LA – The Fillmore
MAR 2 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
MAR 4 – St. Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
MAR 05 – Miami Beach, FL – Fillmore Miami Beach
MAR 06 – Orlando, FL – House Of Blues *
MAR 08 – North Myrtle Beach, SC – House Of Blues
MAR 09 – Knoxville, TN – The Mill & Mine
MAR 10 – Richmond, VA – The National
MAR 11 – Lancaster, PA – Freedom Hall
MAR 12 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
MAR 14 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues +
MAR 15 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues ^
MAR 16 – Lowell, MA – House of Blues – MATINEE, 12PM Doors %
MAR 16 – Lowell, MA – House of Blues – St. Patrick’s Clash 4 w/ Acoustic DKM Set & Full Professional Boxing Card
MAR 17 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues #
* with Booze & Glory, Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One, TBA
+ with The Interrupters, Stop Calling Me Frank
^ with Booze & Glory, Amigo The Devil
% Matinee Show with The Devil Makes Three, Booze & Glory
# with Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One, TBA