Dropkick Murphys perform eclectic set
Last Saturday night at the Hollywood Palladium marked the lively musical extravaganza that is Dropkick Murphys. Formed in Boston, the Irish punk-folk band has become a cultural icon for the city. After releasing six albums since 1998, the rock band is touring in promotion of its seventh studio effort, Going Out In Style.
A motley audience of various ages crowded to get into the venue. College-aged and middle-aged groups populated the pit before the show, steadily increasing in number during openers The Insurgence and Swinginâ Udders.
The show kicked off on an artistic note: pitch black with a beautiful female voice sharing an Irish folk tune.
The chillingly soft vocals were brought to an abrupt end when Dropkick ran onto the stage. Bright lights, heavy guitars and shouting voices invigorated the roaring crowd, which had just erupted into a raging mosh pit.
People were forced to seek solace in the back of the venue to avoid being tossed from side to side as blistering Irish rock deafened their ears. The chaos escalated even further when after the first act with Seattleâs The Insurgence, droplets of blood splattered across the floor.
Blood, sweat and kilts.
The band rattled and rolled through its catalogue of hits, including songs such as âGoing Out In Style,â âJohnny, I Hardly Knew Yaâ and âBlack Velvet Band,â while at least 10, maybe more, men in kilts danced the night away in support of their Irish heritage.
Many L.A.-ridden Bostonians flocked to the show emblazoned with East Coast paraphernalia. But locals and fans of the folk-punk stylings of the Murphys were representative of the bandâs heavy West Coast following, serving as a testament to one of the widest and most dedicated fan bases in its niche market.
The energy packed into the venue was enlivened by the universal love of punk rock and the crowdâs diversity. The show was quite a unique experience as a vast variety of age groups came together for this punk-folk extravaganza â a concert one would assume to be reserved for twenty-somethings.
Dropkick Murphys were keen on the diversity in the crowd and projected their attention toward the various groups. They played new tunes for new fans, an acoustic set for those who perhaps wanted the volume turned down a decibel or five and the oldie-but-goodie hits for the die-hards. The musicians were evidently adept at encouraging the crowd by directing their content toward the specific audience and feeding off the crowdâs energy.
Though somewhat expected, the crux of the show came when the Dropkicks seamlessly transitioned into the bandâs most commercial gem, âShipping Up To Boston,â featured in the Academy Award winning film The Departed. The entire space bounced and chanted in unison to the booming bass and catchy lyrics, causing the mosh pit to return full force.
After âBoston,â the band continued the show with a cover of AC/DCâs âTNT.â The crowd exploded upon hearing the first few famous chords. Water bottles, flying through the air, soaked the crowd and flying shoes whizzed by peopleâs heads. Dropkick Murphys, evidently, are one to attract a projectile crowd.
After a long applause for the finale, concert goers revived the famous Dropkick chant. The band revisited the stage to close out the set with two numbers that invited all the women in the audience to join the band in singing a vivacious rendition of âKiss Me, Iâm Shitfaced.â
After the girls had their moment to shine, the guys in the audience rushed the stage and turned the performance area into a classically drunken Dropkick family throwdown. Strangers sang and danced together, demonstrating the unifying good-cheer evident in the Dropkick Murphys subculture.
The energy was there Saturday night, and the music was spot-on. Dropkick Murphys prove that, after these 13 years, they still have it. Somehow, this band has discovered how to revive an aging catalog in a fresh, intense musical experience that is âwicked awesome!â