3/15/14; 2:00 pm
House of Blues; Boston, MA.
I seem to have a tendency to work shows on very busy days in the city. A few months ago, I was down here for Game One when the Red Sox were in the World Series. Now, it’s the Dropkick Murphys, on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, in Boston. Even with my freckled, pale-skinned heritage and the redhead I dated for a year, I’m pretty sure this is the most Irish I’ve ever felt.
Early shows are a rare treat. With the exception of Warped Tour and festivals and such, I don’t typically get to work during the day. But getting to leave the venue and walk into 55* weather after a pretty crappy winter will certainly not draw any complaints from me.
With Boston traffic being the blessing it always is, this meant I unfortunately missed the opening sets from Lucero and Skinny Lister. But, asking around throughout the crowd, the collective opinion is that they were both pretty solid. (And thanks to some lovely fans, you can check out videos of both Lucero and Skinny Lister from that night!)
But, what’s out of my control is out of my control, so I couldn’t allow my mood to be completely torn down by this. And besides, there was still a band to be very eager to see.
It was about 3:00 when the chants starting picking up. And when Dropkick took the stage at around 3:25, the crowd made it clear that they didn’t wear out their energy and voices just during the intermission.
Taking the stage bathed in blue lights and backed by bagpipes, the House of Blues erupted as hometown favorites showed their faces to a familiar stage.
When the full lights came up, the greens and golds that the weekend’s festivities are famous for flooded the stage.
During this batch of shows – which runs Thursday through Sunday, with two shows on Saturday, the band played 27 songs on the first night. The next day, the setlist was 27 songs again, with 22 of those being different from the first night.
For today’s early show, they built another 27-track list, with 18 of them being songs that hadn’t been played at either previous show.
The roar that came from the piano intro into “Tessie” was probably audible across the street in Fenway Park, and Bruins’ anthem “Time to Go” had people cheering for the black and gold while a montage of hockey brawls and goals played on the backdrop. (The Bruins won 5-1 today, too. That’s 8 in a row.)
The band utilized their banjos and acoustics guitars for a few songs near the midpoint, unplugging their set “for the little kids and the cool grandmas out there.” The lull, if you can call it that, ended soon, as they got back to their “more rowdy” stuff.
They ended their initial set with “Dirty Water” overlapping directly into “Shipping Up to Boston,” which featured a group of stepdancers and the crowd singing every word on their own.
They stormed the stage after a short break, leading their four song encore with “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen."
For "End of the Night,” the band filled the stage with people pulled from the audience, turning the final two songs into a party on stage and pushing the band into the photo pit while the fans took over.
There’s something special about witnessing a band playing a hometown show. And there’s always a certain intensity that comes along with a sold-out performance. But these two factors combined – the packed house and the group’s return to Landsdowne, along with it being a matinee show, made for an experience the likes of which I had never been a part of. And to think that they’ll be taking the same stage again in the next few hours has me wondering what else they could possibly have in store. But, whatever they have left in their tank, which I’m sure is plenty, is sure to make Boston proud.
… Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stab Caesar twenty-three times. Happy Idea of March, everyone.
Check out a photo of the setlist from the Matinee show below
Photo & Written By: Eric Riley