Dropkick Murphys And Boston, The Special Relationship

Despite it being a Thursday night, Lansdowne St. and the doors to Boston’s House Of Blues were still bustling with a crowd that was a sea of green, Dropkick Murphys merch, and jerseys from every Boston sports team. Although St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t for three more days, the 14th was the first of four consecutive show days in Boston for the Dropkicks on Lansdowne Street, right across from Fenway Park.

Dropkick Murphys

Citizens House Of Blues, Boston, MA – 14 March 2024

Words And Photography: Emmy Barone

Tonight, they would play the House of Blues and then move across the street to Fenway’s MGM venue for the shows between the 15th and 17th. In a way, this show was an unofficial kickoff to the beginning of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Boston.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

As the stage fell to black, illuminated by nothing but candles, the Dropkick Murphys show began with a bagpipe solo. This led to a complete explosion of energy and pure joy from both the band and the crowd as the rest of the band joined the stage to play the first two songs from their debut album, Cadence To Arms and Do Or Die.

Lead singer Ken Casey ran out onto the platform in front of the stage and extended his mic to the audience as everyone sang along. At one point, Casey even stepped off the platform, carefully balancing on top of the front row barrier to share an even closer moment with the crowd as the front row supported him, and he extended his mic to a young fan.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

His energy and interaction with the audience are unmatched, and unlike any other performance I have ever seen, and the emphasis he puts on interacting with the crowd was incredibly cool to see.

The band featured multi-instrumentalists Tim Brennan and Jeff DaRosa, Matt Kelly on drums (green ones, obviously), James Lynch on guitar and vocals, and Kevin Rheault on bass.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Tim Brennan and Jeff DaRosa switched instruments every few songs, including guitar, accordion, tin whistle, mandolin, and banjo, making for a different listening experience for every song. This was incredibly inspiring to watch as an instrumentalist.

As the band made their way through their set, featuring songs like Rose Tattoo and The State of Massachusetts, which had the crowd singing along to every lyric, the energy of both the crowd and the band only continued to grow.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Their cover choices ranged from the Irish folk ballad The Fields Of Athenry to AC/DC’s T.N.T, truly showcasing the diversity in their musical style and the incredible combination of genres it celebrates.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

At one point, green and white confetti was blasted out onto the crowd. As the band continued to play, banjo player Jeff DaRosa lept off the stage into the confetti-covered audience, crowd-surfing as he played.

The joy and pride for Boston and the Dropkick Murphys could be seen and felt in every part of the venue, making it clear why this hometown show was so special.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Unlike a typical concert, with the way that the Dropkicks performed, it felt like lines were blurred between the band and the crowd, and almost as if no barrier or stage was separating the two.

Seeing their hometown show at Boston’s House of Blues made it feel so much more than just a concert. It felt like a family gathering, a celebration of the history of not only the band and punk music but also the band’s special relationship with the City of Boston.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Dropkick Murphys closed their set with an encore featuring a cover of the song Dirty Old Town. They then launched into their classic, Shipping Up To Boston. Hearing this song live in Boston, right across the street from Fenway Park, where the crowd sings it at every baseball game, is such a special moment for any Bostonian or fan of the Dropkicks, and the spirit and energy that can be felt as the crowd sings along to every word was an incredible moment to be a part of.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Ending with their song Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced, it was the perfect triumphant ending to their show. Seeing the Dropkicks play a hometown show at such a classic Boston venue was an amazing experience.

It was easy to see how special the relationships and community between the Dropkick Murphys and Boston are and what an incredible tradition they have created.

Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Death Before Dishonor

The show opened with Boston-based hardcore punk band Death Before Dishonor. Living up to their title of “real Boston Hardcore,” their hard-hitting riffs and punk energy had circle pits going in no time.

Death Before Dishonor - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Death Before Dishonor – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

With the opening band representing Boston as well, there was a strong sense of solidarity and Boston punk pride. It was easy to see why Death Before Dishonor was the perfect opener for this show.

Death Before Dishonor - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Death Before Dishonor – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Pennywise

Next up, Pennywise took the stage. Playing their hits like Fuck Authority and Bro Hymn, as well as covers including the Beastie Boy’s Fight For Your Right and their punk version of Stand By Me, they had the crowd singing along and a nearly non-stop circle pit.

Pennywise - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Pennywise – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

The floor and barriers on every part of the venue were completely packed with a crowd ranging from entire families to college students, as well as punks of every age.

Pennywise - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Pennywise – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk
Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk
Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk
Dropkick Murphys - Citizens House Of Blues, Boston - 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk
Dropkick Murphys – Citizens House Of Blues, Boston – 14 March 2024. Photo: Emmy Barone/MetalTalk

Sleeve Notes

Sign up for the MetalTalk Newsletter, an occasional roundup of the best Heavy Metal News, features and pictures curated by our global MetalTalk team.

More in Heavy Metal

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Search MetalTalk

MetalTalk Venues

MetalTalk Venues - The Devil's Dog Digbeth
MetalTalk Venues – The Green Rooms Live Music and Rehearsal
The Patriot, Crumlin - The Home Of Rock
Interview: Christian Kimmett, the man responsible for getting the bands in at Bannerman's Bar
Cart & Horses, London. Birthplace Of Iron Maiden
The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

New Metal News