Band longevity is a funny thing. Some of the greats come and go with little fanfare, while others stick around for what seems like an eternity, leaving one to scratch their head. While gearing up for the Dropkick Murphys show, I was perplexed somewhat by the fact that I lived in Boston for nearly four years and somehow managed to never see them live...mind you this was also the time of their breakout hit "I'm Shipping Back to Boston" being featured in 2006's Best Picture winner The Departed.
Following the film's success, the band became even more noticeable around Boston and took hold of Saint Patrick’s Day in an amazing new and renewed fashion. As I stood up front at the Civic, the sold out crowd was dressed in various DKM jerseys and shirts, as well as almost anything Boston related. The energy present just before the show continued to grow, climaxing with a burst of excitement as an opening video of the band’s beginnings was projected just before the first song. To say they had a hard history would be a massive understatement. Through it all they survived, producing eight albums in twenty years. Recently, the band releaseed their ninth effort, from which several tracks were played.
As the video ended, the giant projection mat poured onto the floor and the band came out blaring “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya.” The Celtic-punk band hardly let up all night, the exceptions being brief stories about some of the songs as well as a quiet moment before “Forever.” The set was well rounded, covering virtually every album the band has put out, as well as a few fine-crafted covers. It’s amazing to see the band in action. I swear they expel a marathon-run worth of energy every show. Founding bass guitarist Ken Casey was the lead story teller and said that each night the band “aimed to give the audience their best show ever.” Truer words were never spoken - the band's energy was infectious. The mosh pit in the center of the floor never really got too far out of hand, and meshed well with the punk soundtrack of the night.
You can see an extended gallery here.