Celtic punk rockers Dropkick Murphys are celebrating their 20th year anniversary on the road with the 20 Years of Mayhem Tour. Fellow Boston punk band Darkbuster and California-based psychobilly band Tiger Army kicked off the second of a two-night performance at New York City’s historical Webster Hall.
While the energy was tingling with anticipation in the minutes leading up to Dropkick Murphys’ arrival on stage, roars and cheers from the crowd erupted over the 15 minute montage of clips that highlighted DKM’s 20 year career. All of which lead up to the moment frontman Al Barr greeted the audience with a rowdy performance of “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya.”
After prompting the audience to see who had been there the night before, bassist Ken Casey said the band had changed up the setlist and promised an entirely different show. Even if the setlists had been identical from night to night, I don’t think the good-natured audience would have minded. Dropkick Murphys, although phenomenal in their studio albums, is a band that must truly be experienced live. Their steamrolling energy and personality gets muted in studio recordings, but right there on the stage in front of a sold our crowd of 1,500, they are truly at their best.
Saint Patrick’s day came early to New York City, and there was no shortage of mardi-gra beads, green shirts, kilts and a tonnage of free-flowing beer. New Yorkers were there to party, and Dropkick Murphys was happy to oblige with a hard-hitting, thrilling 26-track setlist guaranteed for a damn good time. The night came to a close with dozens of fans joining the band on stage for the sing-along classic “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced.”
The band will wrap up their 20th anniversary tour with a 5-night residency in Boston starting Wednesday, March 16th.
Check out some of our shots from the show: