Holy. Shit. I’ve been in love with Dropkick Murphys for the better part of the last decade, ever since I heard Flannigan’s Ball for the first time, but I had never been able to see them live – they played the old Roseland Ballroom the night after the fire, and I wasn’t able to cover them at Webster Hall a year ago – until Sunday night when I was FINALLY able to cross one off the bucket list and make the trek from cold NYC to even colder Huntington – clad in my Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced t-shirt and all – to see the boys on the docks blow the roof off The Paramount.
DKM “opened”, so to speak, with the instrumental The Lonesome Boatsman, but that doesn’t really count. HA! The real fun started with The Boys Are Back and Prisoner’s Song from 2013’s Signed and Sealed in Blood, followed up with The Irish Rover from 2011’s Going Out In Style. I’m working on confirming the setlist as I write this, but I can tell you that included in this night’s affair were some of my favorite Dropkick Murphys song, including Worker’s Song from Blackout, way back when Dropkick Murphys were still Celtic punk. They’ve grown up since then, as they’ve shown with 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory, and that’s okay, but I’m glad they took a trip back in time to play some classic DKM that I came to love almost instantly. There was also an epic cover of Just What I Needed by The Cars, as well as new tracks Rebels Without A Cause, Blood, I Had A Hat, First Class Loser, Paying My Way, Sandlot and You’ll Never Walk Alone.
The main set ended with Until The Next Time, which from what I’ve heard has been closing the show on this tour, and since they were already pretty close to curfew I had assumed they might be done without playing Shipping Up To Boston. Nope, wrong. The Murphys ran over curfew after the usual chant of Lets Go Murphys brought them back for the obligatory encore, which most definitely did feature Shipping Up To Boston. Makes sense, since they were actually shipping up to Boston for their 5 night St. Patrick’s weekend run in their hometown. Also in the encore was Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya, Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced – to which I sang along loudly and proudly, and badly – and finally, the night came to an end with Skinhead on the MBTA! God I love that song, and what a way to end an amazing night of punk rock from an Irish band out of an Irish city, playing in a predominantly Irish town in New York.
But none of the above was the highlight of the night. That came when the Murphys stopped the show at one point to yell at security, who was about to eject a very drunk, very Irish fan – presumably for being heavily intoxicated and falling all over himself and everyone else – and said they’d walk off the stage if the dude was thrown out. Instead, said drunk Irish guy was ushered up to the stage in true crowd surfing fashion, where he was brought up on stage by the band to mostly jump around, sing with the boys a bit and then end his 5 minutes of fame with an obligatory stage dive. Now THAT was my favorite part of the night.
Finally – as I listen to Dropkick Murphys while I write this – I can say I’ve seen DKM live after years of listening to them and a few missed opportunities when they’ve been in town. I’ve seen so many great shows by so many of my favorite bands that I’ve lost count, but Dropkick Murphys is without a doubt one of the best acts I’ve ever seen. Their live performance is full of energy and tons of fun, with the sold out crowd singing along to virtually every song, and crowd surfers galore. I’m too old for that shit, but if I were 10 years younger and not carrying a few thousand bucks worth of photography gear, I’d have joined in the surfing. What an amazing show. I only wish they were playing another night here so I could go back and do it all again.
Photo gallery below the setlist.
Dropkick Murphys setlist: