Dropkick Murphys Hit NY Just In Time For St. Patrick’s Day

The Dropkick Murphys
March 10, 2015
Irving Plaza-New York, NY

      New York City may have one of the best hardcore scenes around. Legendary bands like Sick of It All and Agnostic Front were created in the city that never sleeps. Despite having it’s own scene, when hardcore bands from other states come through the city, New Yorkers know how to welcome them. This holds especially true for a band like Quincy Massachusetts’s Dropkick Murphys. Since 1996, the band had been gracing stages with their Celtic punk style.
You could smell the Irish in the air as fans clad in Dropkick Murphy’s, St. Patrick’s themed shirts, flat caps, and a lot of plaid, filled each corner of Irving Plaza. One fan even broke out his kilt for the night to soak in the glory of the Celtic punk that would be played. Needless to say, beer cups were full and whisky was the drink of preference that night. An Irish flag hung from the top balcony, placed there by a boy who looked to be about twelve years old. A few very young children were present with their parents, clearly long time fans of the band.
DSC_2031 The Dropkick Murphys have always paid homage to their roots, incorporating a variety of instruments like bagpipes and other traditional Irish instruments into their music. The sound is distinctive and sets them apart from many other bands in the punk and hardcore genres.  The Dropkick Murphys are known by most for their widely used song, I’m Shipping Up to Boston. The song has been featured in films like The Departed and used as entrance music for many athletes. While that may be their claim to some fame, The Dropkick Murphy’s came prepared for their show with an arsenal of old songs that long time fans were happy to hear. I’m Shipping Up to Boston, however, was played as the second to last song of the night and fans were just as happy to hear the more mainstream song, as they were to hear the others.
Photography was not allowed for the first song. Instead, lead singer Al Barr took that time to connect with the crowd by climbing onto the front rail multiple times and allowing fans to sing into the microphone. Though he continued to do so throughout the rest of the show, that first song really set a precedent for what the rest of the show would be like. At one point, Barr brought the “godfather of hardcore,” Vinnie Stigma, guitarist and founder of pioneering NYHC band Agnostic Front onto stage. They shared one song together during which cell phones were whipped out to document a hardcore legend sharing the stage with Barr, another legend to many fans.
At the end of the show, with three songs left, the band allowed and encouraged women and men in the audience to join them on stage. Women crowd surfed their way onto the stage during Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced while men had their chance to climb up with the help of security and crew members during the following song. Some of the setlist included Blood & Whiskey, 10 Years of Service, The Warrior’s Code, The Boys Are Back, and Rose Tattoo.
The first male to be brought up onto the stage by Barr himself was one of the young boys who had accompanied his parents. Wearing a blue Dropkick Murphys tee shirt, he stood center stage and exchanged a few words with Barr before the stage began filling up with bodies. The projection screen above the band displayed a message for anyone coming onto the stage and for those choosing to hang in the audience. The message read, “Only a jackass takes selfies on stage. Put your camera away and enjoy the moment.” It was refreshing to see the message displayed, and even more refreshing that not many phones were pulled out throughout the show. Guitarist and vocalist Ken Casey relayed the message several times during the show, poking fun at fans with their phones out, and telling them to put them away. Most of the audience seemed to be enjoying the moment just as the band had wished for, phones tucked away for the night.
The Dropkick Murphy’s played the Vans Warped Tour back in 2001, the first time this photojournalist attended the concert, and are still going strong. After watching a high energy show put on by them years after their entrance into the music world, it’s clear to see why fans continue to flock to their shows in droves. Particularly around St. Patrick’s Day, the Dropkick Murphys are a band that will get you in the partying mood.
Review by: Ashley Rodirguez

Dropkick Murphys