Words + Photos By: Amber James
A couple weeks ago, I got a chance to experience Dropkick Murphys’ St Patrick’s Day tour out in Niagara Falls at the Rapids Theatre. And when I say ‘experience’, it truly is an experience. When they took to the stage, I instantly had three thoughts: One, why the hell had it taken me this long to finally see Dropkick live. Two, how did I never notice how many of them there are actually are?? And, three, hot damn, their live show destroys a good chunk of those of bands with members that are half their age. The energy that came off the stage from the instant they bounded onto the stage was one that could knock you back but the energy coming from the crowd was just as intense.
Playing what is essentially a marathon of a set list with twenty six songs, including the encore, it made me wonder why this tour wasn’t sponsored by an energy drink because it’d be a perfect fit. Besides, wouldn’t you need a chaser after all the shots of whisky you’d be doing while watching the band? Coming out to a Sinead O’Connor song as a pre intro, the boisterous band bounds out to play “The State of Massachusetts” off of their 2007 full length, The Meanest of Times. With a good chunk of their songs seeming like they would fit in just as well at an Irish pub as they would at Warped Tour, they bridge numerous genre and generational gaps.
As the night went on, they veered off from the set list they said they had set down on paper for the night. One of these changes was playing “The Warrior’s Code” for a local wrestler they knew from an event he had wrestled at and they had played up in Boston area. They followed up with the first song they had ever wrote as a band, “Barroom Hero.” One of my favorite changes up that night was the choice to do a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom City Blues” with their Bostonian touch on it.