Dropkick Murphys at Marquee Theatre, 7-3-11

Dropkick Murphys

Marquee Theatre

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chants of "Let's go Murphys" rang through the half-filled Marquee Theatre about 45 minutes before the opening band even took the stage. The mantra only grew louder throughout the night as the crowd grew to capacity and eventually beckoned the Dropkick Murphys out on stage.

The Boston seven-piece responded to the chant and gave the crowd what it wanted: a rousing, raucous show.

​The Dropkick Murphys' set began with a bang, though the band did not have to work too hard to rile the crowd up, thanks to the antics of the opening acts.

Reno punk rock group The Cobra Skulls started off the night by whipping the crowd into a pretty good frenzy. The band's first tune, "Honorary Discharge Under the Influence," immediately sparked a circle pit in the middle of the crowd.

The next group, Chicago Celtic punkers The Tossers, then built on the Skulls' energy and turned the night into a full-fledged party. Lead singer Tony Duggins received applause from the audience for his throaty singing and unabashed antics. He threw up into a trash bin onstage near the end of the set after drinking nothing but beer and asking the crowd "Who needs water?"

Then came the main event. The Murphys really riled up the crowd by closing the curtains prior to their set and playing a simple Irish folk tune that slowly built into a steady drumbeat. The crowd broke into its "Let's Go Murphys" chant once more before the curtains waved open and the band took the stage, immediately breaking into "Hang 'Em High."

The crowd responded to the intensity of the song by jumping around, singing along, and going nuts in general.

And that was only the beginning. By the time the band played classics "Barroom Hero" and "The Gang's All Here," the circle pit was moving non-stop and even the wallflowers were starting to bob their heads.

The Dropkick Murphys fed into this growing energy by playing non-stop, with little space between songs. Between the constant consumption of booze by the adults in the crowd and the occasional goading of bassist and singer Ken Casey and his thick Boston accent, the energy in the room never really died down. The Murphys put on an entertaining set, complete with a banjo player that never seemed to stop spinning.

The Murphys made no qualms about their unique love of Boston during the night, which further energized their fans, many of whom sported clothing repping Boston sports teams. "I see a lot of Bruins and Red Sox shirts here tonight, must be a lot of assholes massholes," Casey said to the crowd. "I'm sorry Phoenix, but we spread like the plague."

(Casey referred to the Bostonians in the crowd as "massholes," not assholes as I had originally written. A masshole is a term people from Massachusetts sometimes use for one another.)

Casey then stopped playing just long enough to ask the crowd whether they wanted to hear a Red Sox song or a Bruins song, before deciding to go with the Bruins-themed "Time to Go" in honor of the team's recent Stanley Cup victory.

Before the show was through, Barr had to call out one individual in the crowd in order to make sure everyone could have a good time and end the night on a positive note. "Hey guy with the big muscles and tiny hat," Barr said. "Settle the fuck down. Is it all right with you if we finish the show?"

The man obliged and the band jumped into their most iconic tune to date, "I'm Shipping Up to Boston." 

After inviting about fifty or so women from the crowd on stage, Casey grabbed the mike and gave the ladies a serenade of sorts, belting out "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced"-- an ode to the wiles men use to pickup women in bars.

To be honest, most of the women -- shitfaced themselves -- missed out on the irony of the stage call and just had a whole lot of fun jumping around in front of the crowd.

The Murphys then closed out the night by inviting a few of the guys in the audience on stage to join them in a rendition of AC/DC's "T.N.T." While most of the stage goers were too drunk to remember all of the lyrics, they did an admirable job pumping their fists and joining lead singer Al Barr during the chorus.

Set List

1. Hang 'Em High
2. Fighting 69th
3. Barroom Hero
4. The Gang's All Here
5. Time to Go
6. Deeds Not Words
7. The State of Massachusetts
8. Take 'Em Down
9. Going Out in Style
10. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
11. Sunday Hardcore Matinee
12. The Auld Triangle
13. The Hardest Mile
14. Cruel
15. The Irish Rover
16. Peg O' My Heart
17. Blood and Whiskey
18. Black Velvet Band
19. Broken Hymns
20. Captain Kelly's Kitchen
21. I'm Shipping Up to Boston

22. Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced
23. Skinheads on the M.B.T.A
24. T.N.T. (AC/DC cover)

Critic's Notebook
Last Night: Dropkick Murphys at The Marquee Theatre

The Crowd: A really eclectic mix. Everything from 12-year-olds with their parents to shirtless bros to a couple of 65-year-old ladies in Boston shirts.

Overheard in the Crowd: "You know, Dustin Pedroia plays for Boston, and he went to ASU." *high five*

Personal bias: I drank a glass of Jamison at the bar before the show. Less of a bias and more of a requirement.

Random Notebook Dump: Guys in kilts must love upper body workouts and not wearing shirts.

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Wayne Schutsky