Dropkick Murphys / Stiff Little Fingers - live in New York City (Cover Artwork)

Dropkick Murphys / Stiff Little Fingers

live in New York City (2004)

live show

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
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
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