Dropkick Murphys, Tsongas Arena, Lowell MA, 3-15-2008
UPDATE: You're probably looking for the 7-10-08 show at the baseball park, those pics are over here
[music | D.R.I - In the Pit]
[music | Pete Seeger - Which Side Are You On]
[music | Dropkick Murphys - Dirty Glass]
[music | The Bruisers - These Two Boots of Mine]
We were very lucky to get these tickets. I guess they just moved the venue to the Tsongas on Thursday and opened up a huge block of tickets. We'd tried to hit the St. Patricks day shows a year or two ago, but they sold too fast. This time I was worried we'd have to be in seats, in a hockey arena, and I just wouldn't have bothered. As it was, we were right up front and got to see a fucking brilliant show.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists opened, and unfortunately for me, none of my pics of them really came out. I'd been vacillating on seeing them for some time, but I think I would now. His voice reminds me of Geddy Lee at points, and someone else at other points. They were good. A few people around us seemed to be Ted Leo super-fans.
I can describe the Dropkicks set as "Action Packed". They are the ultimate Working Man's Band at this point. With their cover of Which Side are you On (Right up there with Pete Seeger's, in my opinion) as well as their other organizing songs (Boys on the Docks, Workers Song), they are working class and stand up for the Unions, that's a good thing that you don't see enough of now. I found myself hollering along, which is very, very rare for me.
The crowd reaction was, of course, awesome, I mean, it's Boston, they played Tessie, they could have just played that and left and people would have been happy. I often judge this type of show by how many people are really committed to being there. Like "girlfriend that got dragged into the pit by moron boyfriend". There was almost none of that. The people that didn't really want to be down front fled pretty quickly and made a good hole for those of us that were in it to win it. The pits were surprisingly friendly this show, because my "drunken fratboy" estimate was pretty high due to a high Popped Collar quotient. I only saw maybe 2 punches thrown and only a couple of blood covered maniacs.
The cutest thing ever was the junior step-dancing squad which came out at the beginning of the show and again toward the end (and helped sing). The perfect Boston punk show is when there's a 7 year old singing Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced at the top of her little lungs. Go kid!
One thing I never expected to see live was Dirty Glass, but there was Stephanie Dougherty halfway through the set. It was lovely and I got a couple decent shots of her. Evidently I have a new band to go see, everyone go see The Deadly Sins, I demand it.
When they started to break for their encore, it was only maybe 1:15 into the set, but they never ever slowed down, so I was surprised to see it hadn't been 90 minutes or 1:45 already. They just stepped back for a quick gulp of water (or whatever) and came right back for more, with 100 of their closest fans on stage. No prima donna 5 minute break before encore. It felt like we'd gotten a solid 3 hours of show, for the bargain price of 1:45 total of our time.
My only complaint, and it's minor but irritating, is the cigarette policy of the Tsongas Arena. They make you throw away all cigarettes and lighters on entry. Well that was $5 well spent for the 19 smokes I tossed out, plus two lighters at $1.50 each. Bastards. The only thing that would have made it scummier is if they had a booth outside selling cigarettes and lighters. Of course, scumbag business practice on their part might mean genius profit plan for me, if I can get a peddler's cart with a tobacco license for next time.
Here are some pictures, many, many more on the Flickr set
Dirty Glass yah, everyone go buy Deadly Sins CDs, stat.
Many, many more pictures in the Flickr Set