St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Boston. We know this song and dance already, but let’s recap… green beer, parade, inevitable bar fights, Dropkick Murphys show. But this time, there’s a twist to this weekend. The week leading up to the show also marked the grand opening of Boston’s newest concert venue, Roadrunner! Now, truth be told, I had to Google what the hell Roadrunner even was because I had never heard of it before. But let me tell you something… this may be my new favorite venue in the city.
Being that this was the last night of the tour for the Dropkicks, and it was a Sunday show, it was an early night for everyone. First to the stage was local artist, Jesse Ahern, from the city of Quincy. A man who has a pretty impressive following, the venue was almost halfway full before he even took the stage. Acoustic folk punk on full display. A man who genuinely had the most heartfelt appreciation for the audience and for DKM for having him on the show. You could feel his heart go every time he spoke to the audience because he was just in such a euphoric trance with his music and fans. Definitely an artist to pay attention to!
Celtic punk rock from Australia… A sentence I never thought I would hear in my life, but God dammit The Rumjacks are exactly that. And they are a time to be had! Roaring onto the stage without a second to lose, the Rumjacks made Boston their home for their set. Leaving everything on the stage, you can tell they are lovers of the music and are just having fun. Which is exactly what you want at a show like this! Anthemic choruses, good times, and dueling Irish pan flutes… Not really a whole lot else to say, just go listen to The Rumjacks and thank me later.
Making their way on after The Rumjacks left it all on the stage was punk icon Jim Lindburg of Pennywise and his solo band. Walking onto the stage with a roaring audience to welcome him, Jim proceeds to drop his guitar on stage before even playing a single note. But just like in true punk rock fashion, he brushes it off as a joke and kicks off an incredible set of music. Truly an elder statesman of punk rock Jim knows exactly what he’s doing on stage and he make sure that you know it. Ghost Cult recently did an interview with Jim about his new solo project, so being able to see him live truly was a joy and an experience to take in.
And now the reason we’re all here to begin with. Quincy, Massachusetts’ own Dropkick Murphys! Being that this was the final stop on their St. Patrick’s Day 2022 tour, they pulled out all of the stops. With one person missing from the festivities, Al Barr. He was missing from the tour because he is currently dealing with a family situation, which we all hope is going smoothly. But Ken Casey came with the energy of three people on stage to make up for Al’s absence. Going through an insane twenty-five song setlist (before a three song encore), bringing back some older songs that they don’t play too often. “The Black Velvet Band”, “The Chosen Few”, and “For Boston” were among the choice selections that don’t hear often in live performances. As well as the usual suspects of “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”, “Rose Tattoo”, “Skinhead on the MBTA”, and “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” among other fan favorites. The encore closed out the whole night with a song that made my heart so happy that I couldn’t help but jump along with every word of it. Ken Casey brought Jim Lindberg back on stage to do a phenomenal cover of the Pennywise classic “Bro Hymn”. Quite literally a perfect night of punk rock and nostalgia. Dropkick Murphys reign supreme!!
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS SMALL