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Dropkick Murphys / Stiff Little Fingers

Dropkick Murphys / Stiff Little Fingers: live in New York Citylive in New York City (2004)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: OnTheAttackOnTheAttack
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When I heard that the Stiff Little Fingers were doing a short tour of the East Coast, I waited for an NYC date to be announced. Feb. 5th, they were at Roseland with the Dropkick Murphys and the Unseen. Boy, was I disappointed when I learned they'd be OPENING for Dropkick Murphys. More on that later..


When I heard that the Stiff Little Fingers were doing a short tour of the East Coast, I waited for an NYC date to be announced. Feb. 5th, they were at Roseland with the Dropkick Murphys and the Unseen. Boy, was I disappointed when I learned they'd be OPENING for Dropkick Murphys. More on that later.

This was an early show (6:45) so I had to rush from Albany after school to get there. I made it at a little after 7, just in time to see half of the Unseen's set. I can't say I've ever been a fan of the band, but since Paul Russo left, they've really gone downhill. I'm not one of those kids who will talk shit about them because they're on MTV or who their friends are or anything, because I honestly don't give a shit. I've met the band before and they're all good guys, but that doesn't make me like their music any more.

Stiff Little Fingers was next. Even though I'm a huge Dropkick Murphys fan (just look at my username), I came for Stiff Little Fingers. Why they were opening for Dropkick Murphys, I don't understand. If not for Stiff Little Fingers, there would be no Dropkick Murphys. It seemed like more than half of the kids there were there for Dropkick Murphys, and had no idea who Stiff Little Fingers was and how lucky they were to be seeing them. Regardless, they were worth the $30 admission alone. They started out with three amazing songs right in a row. Tin Soldier, Roots Radicals Rockers and Reggae, and my personal favorite, Nobody's Hero. Stiff Little Fingers is in their 4th decade of playing but they still sound amazing. Jake Burns can scream just like he could in the 70's. I can't say I'm the most knowledgable Stiff Little Fingers fan but they did a lot of older songs, most of which I posted in the setlist. Don't crucify me if I missed something. I know they did a few newer songs as well, as they have a new album that will be available in the states soon (they weren't selling any merch, so I couldn't pick it up). One of those songs was called "Strummerville", obviously in memory of Joe Strummer. They closed their set with Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster.

This was my 15th time seeing Dropkick Murphys, and while I love them, I've grown to hate the crowd they draw these days. Lots of younger kids and jocks who just want to hear "Barroom Hero". Their setlist consisted of 12 song from Blackout, and while I think Blackout was an improvement over Sing Loud Sing Proud, it's still a little too poppy for my taste. The other half of the set was a nice mix of their previous albums. "Pipebomb on Lansdowne" was a nice surprise, as I don't think I've heard it since they started playing the Avalon. "In The Streets of Boston" is one of my all-time favorites, but Al Barr doesn't do it justice. His vocal delivery and the pace at which he sings is no match for Mike McColgan's rendition. Speaking of Mike, I was disappointed that "Get Up" was not played, as it was written about Stiff Little Fingers. This might have been due to the fact that the Street Dogs were playing it on their last tour (Mike wrote the song) and this upset a few of the members of Dropkick Murphys. It's a shame, as this would have been a nice tribute to Stiff Little Fingers, especially since they should have been headlining in the first place.

Stiff Little Fingers set (not in order, a few songs missing):
Tin Soldier
Roots Radicals Rockers and Reggae
Nobody's Hero
Strummerville
Beruit Moon
Barbed Wire Love
Doesn't Make It Alright
Fly The Flag
Suspect Device
Alternative Ulster

Dropkick Murphys Set:
Cadence to Arms
Do or Die
Barroom Hero
Legend of Finn MacCumhail
Blackout
Caught in a Jar
Black Velvet Band
This Is Your Life
As One
The Dirty Glass
The Gauntlet
Buried Alive
Fields of Athenry
Blood and Whiskey
The Gang's All Here
Time To Go
World Full Of Hate
Boys On The Docks
Pipebomb on Lansdowne
Walk Away
Spicy Jig
Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced
Workers Song
In The Streets of Boston
Skinhead on the MBTA

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 17, 2004)

About Flogging Molly, the music is top notch, but the lyrics are wicked corny. All this crap about Thompson guns and "I'll be here when it all gets weird". Gimme a break. The lyrics are mostly recycled from old drinkin songs. As for show reviews, I skipped DKM, but Midnight Creeps was great!

Harry Heffenreffer

OnTheAttack (February 17, 2004)

Funny, seems like a review to me. Yeah, I used a couple lines in the beginning about getting to the show. Fuck off.

Anonymous (February 16, 2004)

live show reviews should not be stories, they should be reviews of the show

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

I think the only thing that dropped around here was my IQ from reading the post below me.

Geez.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

Man that Dropdick show was a total FUCKING let down! fuck The Drop Dick Mick Morons......that Cornball act is nothing about but Just only scheming money period... And the people who are behind this band are scam artist crooks.. they had the nerve to make stiff little fingers open up for them like stiff is below them was an insult! to them and there fans
no one was buying into this drop dick Moran act..thank god the sound man screwed up dropdicks sound he made them jump around like fools that they are to a bad sound.. which sounded like shit! ..i hope someone snuffs this dropdick act like the Kennedy's..fuck the Drop Dick Mick Morons and their tag alongs..cause if this is what punk is coming to then,Then this shit must end..

more dropdick show reviews coming soon..

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

"What are you? Streety McTeamster?" That's fucking funny as hell.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

DKM is much better when they actually incorporate bagpipes,folk and stuff into their music.

Flogging Molly is kicking their ass musically if you ask me. Cannot wait for their new one.

Anonymous (February 13, 2004)

yes i agree also, sing loud sing proud was sooo much better than blackout. i don't agree with that one guy said that Rancid, NOFX, Distillers and DKM's sucked this year. i thought the rancid album was pretty damn good, so was the NOFX album. the distillers new one sucked. Blackout isn't bad, u just gotta listen to it a couple times before u really start to like it.

cactussac (February 12, 2004)

I'll be happy to never have to see Dropkick Murphys live again, and the Unseen for that matter.

Not that I have anything against the bands. I fucking love both of them actually.

Its just sad that DKM have made a VERY STRONG decline since Do Or Die and the Unseen are very much the same. Both bands lost members and I just have never grown to like their new material.

unfortunately this means that live you get the new material (for good reason as they are trying to sell albums b/c everyone has to fucking eat)... and frankly the new material sucks imo.

Anonymous (February 12, 2004)

Oh, were we supposed to review the album? Yeah Blackout (the album) had like 2 songs that were OK. The rest of it sucked. Rancid, NOFX, Distillers, and DKM all sucked this year! The U.S. is a nation of PUSSIES! You can see evidence of that in the news and now in the music, too.

Harry Heffenreffer

Anonymous (February 12, 2004)

I agree with the dude 2 down. Blackout sucked. Sing Loud, Sing Proud was good. Not their best, but good.

...evildeadalive

Anonymous (February 12, 2004)

people from boston sound like assholes when they talk, so do Canadians.

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

Fuck it. I thought Sing Loud Sing Proud was a helluva lot better than Blackout.

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

I missed the DKM show because of school. School sux, Dropkick Murphys Rocks! Also that BDF show the next night was an absolute pisser! I was stupefied!

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

I thought it was PCU that talked about "that guy". When does it happen in WW, I haven't seen it in a while?

Oh yea, DKM blow.

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

I have to agree with the previous person. The sound in Roseland blows & the amount of 16 yr old kids who were "that guy" was staggering.

The Beer Drinking Fools show the next night was spot on. I think their website is beerdrinkingfools.org & they are playing CBGB Sunday night or something like that.

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

I was sorely disappointed. The sound sucks at Roseland to start with, and half the crowd was 14 and wear Dropkick shirts. Kids, rent "Wayne's World" and find out what it means to be "that guy."

But what ruined it is when 50 or so 13 year old girls get on stage and dance with the band. What a load. Bands with weaker roots than DKM,who have sold out bigtime, would NEVER let that shite fly. Thank Go the CD release for the Beer Drinking Fools album was the next night or I would have hung myself with a six-pack ring.

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

just to add my two cents into this debate

i've seen the Murphys about 10 times or over the last 2 years. Last seeing them at Lupos in providence back in november. And they have never once played the same set. It is always completely different. The do play lots of different Do or Die stuff just like they play lots of stuff of Gang's All Here and the rest of their albums. They've even done "John Law" and "In the Streets of Boston".

So yeah in conclusion, they have NOT been phasing out Do or Die. Not even close

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

"What are you, the ultimate fanboy/streety mcteamster for DKM? Does your brother's-cousin's-uncle's-sister's-son play in the band?

They don't play a lot of Do or Die songs whenever I see them, and I've been going to their live shows since 97'. I thought maybe Al didn't like singing those songs because he didn't write them, or because too many will try to compare him to McColgan.

Now kindly fuck off, your DKM asskissing is growing annoying.

-sickboi"

actually yes, i am friends with the band, which is why you're ignorant comments and jumping to conclusions ticked me off.

so like i said, you lose again

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

What are you, the ultimate fanboy/streety mcteamster for DKM? Does your brother's-cousin's-uncle's-sister's-son play in the band?

They don't play a lot of Do or Die songs whenever I see them, and I've been going to their live shows since 97'. I thought maybe Al didn't like singing those songs because he didn't write them, or because too many will try to compare him to McColgan.

Now kindly fuck off, your DKM asskissing is growing annoying.

-sickboi

Anonymous (February 11, 2004)

SLF is great, their new album is top notch too.

-Strewtho

OnTheAttack (February 11, 2004)

You mean Rick left halfway through "Sing Loud, Sing Proud".
If you look at any DKM setlist after they put out an album, they do the majority of that album live. They did it with "The Gang's All Here", they did it with "Sing Loud, Sing Proud", and they're doing it now with "Blackout". I'll predict that by the end of this year they'll go back to doing a more balanced set. By the end of 2002 and right before "Blackout" came out, they were doing balanced sets with equal songs from every record.

Fuzzy (February 11, 2004)

That looks like the worst setlist from a DKM show possible. Maybe it's because their last two albums really annoyed me, but damn. Another big reason why the songs may feel like they've gone downhill on these two albums isn't because of Al joining, but because of Rick Barton leaving halfway through The Gang's All Here, as well. While I like his two replacements, I definitely can tell a difference in songwriting due to his absence. Oh, and I think Al doesn't feel comfortable with those songs either, because his voice has a totally different range than Mike's. I don't think it's a criticism, more of an observation. The last time I saw DKM (2 years ago, maybe less/more), they played very little off of Do or Die and TGAH. They definitely shift their old stuff out of their set really quickly to make room for (in my opinion) an unbalanced and large amount of new stuff.

moldy (February 11, 2004)

whats true in parasitology is true in punk rock...kids are stupid

ThatotherGuy (February 10, 2004)

You've got to be shittin me. Me and BSD agree !?! I think you're right, Dropkick has nothing on Stiff Little Fingers. While I like DKM, I LOVE SLF. Oh, and as for "old" stuff, anyone remember Sonic Youth ? I hear they're going on tour soon, anyone know if it's true ?

THAT GUY

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

"Not creating rumors. I enjoy Al, but they "used" to play a lot more of those songs.

Maybe they used to rotate those songs 2-3 years ago, but not anymore.

-sickboi"

I'd love to see what the hell shows you're going to...because I've seen them in NY, NJ, CT and MA in the last 2-3 years and always hear that same good chunk of Do or Die songs I mentioned.

What do you expect, all Do Or Die songs? They have to promote new shit in addition to playing the crowd pleasers. And whether you like 'em or not, Spicy McHaggis Jig and Rocky Road To Dublin and anything off Gang's All Here are all overall crowd pleasers.

Al has NOTHING against those songs.

You lose again.

OnTheAttack (February 10, 2004)

$20 actually, but fucking $9.50 Ticketmaster charge.

NoUse (February 10, 2004)

$30 for tickets?

Jesus Christ...

OnTheAttack (February 10, 2004)

"I'm not one of those kids who will talk shit about them because they're on MTV or who their friends are or anything, because I honestly don't give a shit."

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

yeah, the unseen were on the headbangers ball like 3 weeks ago or something. who cares though? if u still like their music, listen to it.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

Yeah, I don't care for them too much. They flaunt this metal guitar thingy and like Aerosmith and co., so they like cock rock as well as straight up metal.

As for SLF, DKM have NOTHING on them, never could, never will.

-BSD

OnTheAttack (February 10, 2004)

The Unseen were on Headbangers Ball.

TheOneTrueBill (February 10, 2004)

"12 song from Blackout"

Wow. That'll be keeping me away from seeing them anytime in the near future.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

I went to this show in DC on Friday and a lot a of tension in the air. THe singer of The Unseen almost got into a fight w/ someone in the crowd. It took 40 mins. to get a beer and people were all pushin and shit near one of the main bars/ bathrooms/ t-shirt stands and security had to bumrush over there to straighten some shit out. DM put on a great show by the way, the score's for them.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

what the fuck? the unseen were never on mtv you dipshit

OnTheAttack (February 10, 2004)

Actually, Jeff Erna was on "Boys on the Docks" and a few 7"s.
The reason why they didn't play "Get Up" was not due to the Street Dogs, my mistake.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

you a dickblowa

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

Not creating rumors. I enjoy Al, but they "used" to play a lot more of those songs.

Maybe they used to rotate those songs 2-3 years ago, but not anymore.

-sickboi

ashton (February 10, 2004)

let's just face it.

if stiff little fingers were headlining, 2/3 of the people there would've left after dropkick.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

since when are the unseen on mtv?

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

"I've really begun to think that Al feels uncomfortable singing the songs from "Do or Die". They only one they ever do is Barroom Hero.

Fuck, that album is chock full of the best shit that band (and I use that term loosely, cause Ken Casey is the only original member left, right) ever did.

-sickboi"

I've seen DKM about 20 times and thats just not true...they always play barroom hero, boys on the docks and skinhead on the mbta. and theyre rotate caught in a jar, far away coast, do or die, never alone, finnegan's wake, road to the righteous, fightstarter karaoke...FAR from only 2 song. i doubt al gives a shit really. just creating rumors i guess?

as far as original members go, matt kelly may not be the original drummer technically, but he is on every recorded piece of music theyve done so...

and enough comparing al and mike...al's been on 3 albums as to mike's 1. move on with your life.

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

I've really begun to think that Al feels uncomfortable singing the songs from "Do or Die". They only one they ever do is Barroom Hero.

Fuck, that album is chock full of the best shit that band (and I use that term loosely, cause Ken Casey is the only original member left, right) ever did.

-sickboi

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

SLF probably opened because DKM are a bigger live draw, particularly in the States. Obvious really...

Anonymous (February 10, 2004)

awesome show and youre totally right about dropkicks crowd, oh well...

the other new slf song was called "i still believe in the power of rock & roll" and it was fucking incredible.

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