The Dropkick Murphys have resided solely at the top of the contemporary punk scene for the past decade and every tour has added to their iconic legacy. This March the band hit the road for a St. Patrick’s Tour that spanned half of February and March combined. The Dropkick Murphys’ don’t shy away from their Irish influence and this March the band sold out nearly every venue it played as fans looked to get out of the house for a few pints and a mosh pit.
The 2019 brought the band to Lancaster, PA instead of Philadelphia and all for the better as Freedom Hall’s spanning expanse of a floor allowed for over 4,000 fans to sell the space out – possibly one of the biggest shows the venue has ever hosted.
Across well over 20 songs the Dropkick Murphys never gave the crowd a second to rest of crowd surfers flowed over the barricade from the first chords of “The Boys are Back”at the beginning of the set until the last note of the band’s encore. Mosh pits were a plenty as Ken Casey and Al Barr spent almost the entire set hanging on the crowd off a small thrust that was built specifically for them to get closer to their devoted fans.
It was a rowdy night but all within safe means as the crowd fed of the band’s energy on stage – the high intensity set had the crowd sweating almost as much as the band was midway through the set as the band tore through killer renditions of “Blood,” “The Gang’s All Here” and “The State of Massachusetts” to the roar of their approval.
Performance wise the band has never been in tighter form and while that may not hold true to the core of the old punk era in terms of a show it made for one memorable night. Dropkick Murphys have had a tremendous amount of staying power over the years and it is clear a lot of it comes from their touring. There are few bands with a heavy, distinct sound such as their’s and even fewer that can perform it so well live – and not just for the “popular” songs that all the fans will know. Sure, “Rose Tattoo” and “Shipping Up to Boston” were great moments in the set but the show truly shined when the band was digging deeper in their career and the crowd was just as excited as they were for the songs being performed.
Few things compare to a Dropkick Murphys’ concert and even fewer compare to one in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day – hopefully Pennsylvania doesn’t have to wait until next March to get their dosage of live music from the band.