There are artists whose name has become intertwined with their home town. Minneapolis has Prince, but few represent their city as deep and passionate as the Dropkick Murphys. Their 20th anniversary tour is traveling the US and will culminate in a 4 day musical bender in Boston. Maplewood’s Myth was packed even before the first band got on stage. The venue kept things cool by releasing CO2 over the main area. The crowd covered all ages including a few kids and the obligatory “Dude in kilt with Mowhawk” – actually there were quite a few of those.
First up were Boston’s Darkbuster. The band headed by singer/guitarist Lenny Lashley has been around for almost 20 years. The 6-piece band was fun to watch with a punk vibe, that had some ska elements – including a sax – on some of their songs. They are working on their next album.
Tiger Army taught me my new word of the day: Psychobilly. I really enjoyed their set and their stage show kept things quite interesting. This was the first upright bass that I have seen moved all over the stage, flipped, twisted and mounted! One frequent pose brought bass and guitar together in what I knew growing up as “Rudel Rock” (pack rock made famous by Status Quo). Their new album is due out this spring.
Set List: Prelude: Signal Return / Afterworld / Cupid’s Victim / Ghostfire / Prisoner of the Night / 20 Flights Rock / Pain / Rumble / F.T.W. / Firefall / Never Die
Dropkick Murphys started their set with a short film about the band’s history, their presence in their hometown, activism with union, labor and political causes and also their charity, the Claddagh Fund. The curtain dropped and the band hit the stage at full speed with “Johnny, I hardly knew Ya”. Singer Al Barr was off the stage and on a platform close to the crowd seconds into the set and would return frequently. On stage band members switched positions and instruments in the complex, wild rythm that is typical for a Dropkick Murphys show.
For the encore, and in keeping with Dropkick Murphys’ tradition the band invited a bunch of audience members onstage. Overall this was a great, fun evening with plenty of changes to roar along to songs with the certainty that yours was not the worst singing ability in the room.
Set List: Johnny \ Prisoner \ Walkaway \ YNWA \ Boys Docks \ Surrender \ Sunshine \ Kids are Alright \ Rats \ Loyal \ Forever \ Upstarts \ Triangle \ Warriors \ Barroom \ Gangs \ Sandlot \ State \ Ghosts \ Rose \ Curse \ Workers Encore: Shipping \ Kiss Me \ Skin \ Party