Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dropkick Murphys Rollick Live On Lansdowne

Dropkick MurphysNot many bands can lay claim to their own cultural phenomenon. Boston’s Dropkick Murphys can easily make that claim with their signature blend of working class songs and Irish punk roots.

The only other way to capture this kind of sound would be to combine Green Day with the Pogues and stick them smack in the middle of Boston. Then pump them up with New England pride, pick up some sport fans, and sell your recipe for greatness with a pint of stout.

Few would ever guess the Dropkick Murphys started in the basement of a friend's barbershop in 1996. They're flawless in the studio and even better on stage where they have more room to energize everyone in the area.

Take, for instance, the band’s March 2010 live CD, Live on Lansdowne, recorded over seven shows in March 2009. The live cuts on the CD cull the best songs from those shows, making something that sounded great on the initial release even better with the video of fans and feedback. The 20 rollicking tunes include The State of Massachusetts, Red Sox anthem Tessie, and longtime favorite Caught In A Jar.

There is also an amazing take on I'm Shipping Up To Boston as the band is joined the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Never mind the critics or the initial push back that Live On Lansdowne focused too much on newer songs. One listen convinces that the song selection is spot on. It's too easy to pick up older songs someplace else, like 2002’s Live On St. Patrick’s Day. That compilation includes Nutrocker, which is the Boston Bruins theme song.

The Lansdowne crowds obviously love their hometown heroes. The camaraderie and mutual respect between the fans and the band is evident, with the sea of green rising from the front row deep into the nosebleeds.

Throughout the DVD, you can catch plenty of banter between the band and the fans. There is even a good-natured ribbing of a Yankee fan (gasp) in Red Sox territory. The end product places anyone watching as close as they can get to what the Dropkick Murphys are like live, assuming they haven't had any Irish luck to see them unleashed in person. For everyone who has, it keeps the memories alive.

Hitting their stride after 15 years together, the Dropkick Murphys are getting better with age. The band includes Al Barr (vocals), Ken Casey (vocals, bass), Matt Kelly (drums, bodhran, vocals), James Lynch (guitar, vocals), Tim Brennan (guitar, accordion, vocals), Jeff DaRosa (mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, whistle, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals), and Scruffy Wallace (bagpipes).

Dropkick Murphys Live On Landsdowne Rollicks In With A 9.1 On the Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Notorious for their boisterous St. Paddy’s shows, Dropkick Murphys fans travel from all over the globe to be a part of the annual celebration. Every seat sells out well in advance.

If you want to see them live, mark Feb. 23 in Niagara Falls, NY on the calendar. They'll then wind their way through Pennsylvania, New York City and Connecticut before returning home to Boston for several shows. They've already sold out at the House of Blues March 16-18.

You can find Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA (CD + DVD) on Amazon. On iTunes, Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA (Deluxe) adds some additional gems. Among them is a live version of Baba O’Riley. The movie, Live On Lansdowne, is also available for download.
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