Dropkick Murphys - live in Boston, St. Patrick's Day (Cover Artwork)

Dropkick Murphys

live in Boston, St. Patrick's Day (2002)

live show

St Patrick's Day Weekend, Boston MA, Lansdowne Street, Avalon Ballroom… 2 straight days of Dropkick Murphys. With 6 Guinness and 6 Harp hidden in a backpack I got on the 1:17 train to head down for the start of my St Patrick's Day weekend in the great city of Boston. I would celebrate with the Kings of Nuthin', Piebald, Frenzal Rhomb, The Ducky Boys, and of course the Dropkick Murphys.

March 16, 2002
Disgustingly drunk I enter Avalon and wait for the Kings of Nuthin' to come on. I had never heard of them but had high hopes from what I was told while waiting in line. As I saw a piano dragged out on stage with a washboard right behind it I knew I was in store for something interesting, and that's what I got. A mix of rockabilly and ska they put on a show that kept my interest for the entire set. Flaming saxophones beat up washboards and 8 guys in suits played some songs that I would highly suggest looking into if you have never heard this band before, I know I will.

Piebald I had my questions going in. While I really enjoy their new album on the older albums the vocals seem too harsh to bear with for a full half hour, or so, set. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that not only do they sound just like they do on "We are the Only Friends We Have" but they may even sound better. Opening up with quite possibly one of the catchiest songs I have ever heard, "You're Part of It". Before closing the show with, obviously, "Grace Kelly with Wings", they heard a mixed reaction from the crowd. There were boos, cheers, chants of "emo sucks", mixed in with a bunch of "Get off the Stage" and of course the ever familiar chant to DKM fans "LET'S GO MURPHYS!" Piebald didn't seem phased by any of these reactions and showed that by sending out "I Just don't like you" to the people that were giving them the shit that they didn't deserve.

The familiar sound of "The Foggy Dew" by the Chieftains told the crowd that it was almost time for what everybody came for. Spicy McHaggis came out on stage and the chants of "SPICY SPICY!" came from everybody in attendance. Then the drum roll kicks off "For Boston" as what seems to be the whole floor erupts into one big mosh pit. "BOYS ON THE DOCKS!!", Ken Casey yells to the crowd as it becomes even more wild with anybody that can catch their breath enough to sing along doing so. As the show goes on I get kicked in the head punched in the nose and end up with bruises all over my body… it was a good night. Kay Hanley, of Letters to Cleo fame, came on stage to join the Murphys for "The Dirty Glass." Then, as they end every show, "Skinhead on the MBTA" came on as I'm getting thrashed in the pit I make my way towards the stage and join in on the wildness on stage. The night was good.

And of course with any Irish household throwing a party that night there were a few pints still waiting for me when I got home.

St Patrick's Day
Lunch at the Harp, Parade in Southie, Fanueil Hall acting like a moron, now its time for another dose of Murphys madness. Today was a whole new lineup, Frenzal Rhomb and the Ducky Boys opened everything up.

Frenzal Rhomb is a Fat band from Australia that I hadn't really ever heard anything by, but they seemed pretty pumped to be in the great city of Boston on St. Patrick's Day. I was pleasantly surprised. They were hardcore, they were melodic, they were funny. Songs like "How can I fuck the system if I can't get it up" and "Nobody touches me like my daddy does" gave me the impression that they were only going to be a funny novelty but then they proved me wrong and put on a great show that I would definitely want to see again!

Now the Ducky Boys came on and I had mixed feelings. On one hand they sounded ok and put on an ok show, but on the other hand they were cheesy oi/punk/emo. They are legends in the Boston punk scene and I give them credit for the years of hard work they put in and the lead singer's new band Sinners and Saints is pretty kick ass but I couldn't get too into the Ducky Boys themselves. The best song they played was the closer and that wasn't even their song. The crowd seemed pretty pumped and supported the reunion of the Ducky Boys like no city other than Boston could.

Then of course came the Dropkick Murphys. After last nights show I didn't know if the Murphys could impress me any more than they already had but boy did they ever. Playing the same 4 opening songs they did Saturday night I thought to myself "is this going to be the same set as last night" then Ken Casey yells "This one's called Tim Finnegan's Wake," and I realized that I was in for a whole different show. Playing all the songs that the night before lacked, the Murphys were right on in their performance. Then right before playing "Forever" a large man was asked to come on stage. As soon as he said something about a girl he had been with "for a while now" I knew that something cheesy was going to happen, like a marriage proposal. And boy was I right. As always the show ended with "Skinhead" and the stage packed with punks.

The weekend was great, spent in drunken stupors, sober stupors, with bruises, cuts, bloody noses, and ripped pants. I couldn't ask for anything more from a St. Patrick's Day weekend in Boston. It was a wicked good time.