Dropkick Murphys kicked off their 2013 world tour with two sold-out gigs in Dublin's Vicar Street with Sunday seeing Dublin punk/trad band 'Blood or Whiskey' providing the opening support at the beginning of the night before Frank Turner. While I'm not a huge fan of all three artists I was thoroughly entertained all evening with some sublime performances.
Blood or Whiskey:
Blood or Whiskey have a similar make-up to Dropkick Murphys and performed a great set to a sizable crowd early on last night. You sensed from the intensity and quality of musicianship of the band that they are seasoned professionals with three albums and hundreds of gigs under their belt. New songs sounded really good and hints to a powerful punk rock album. Blood or Whisky are another great Irish band without a prominent fanbase.
Armed with an acoustic guitar and simple tales, folk star Frank Turner won over the crowd with a set of great tunes served with a punk rock attitude. The stand-out tracks from the set were 'The Road', 'I Still Believe' where he had a big help from the crowd and the closing track 'Photosynthesis'. I know he won me over and I'll be at his next gig in Ireland!
Check out the video for 'Photosynthesis' here:
While low on subtlety in terms of their 'Oirish' context, the Dropkicks are high on entertainment value which was again proven to me last night. It takes some great band to play Vicar Street for two nights and almost sell out both nights especially considering they've yet to achieve an identifiable 'Hit' song.
The set was heavily reliant on the new material from their 9th [I think] studio album called 'Signed and Sealed in Blood'. Songs from that album in the set include the opening track 'The Boys Are Back', 'Jimmy Collins' Wake', 'Don't Tear Us Apart' and 'Rose Tattoo'. Of course their recognisable songs and the few Paddy tunes like The Irish Rover and The Fields of Athenry were mixed in there to keep the energy levels sky high.
Watching from the balcony the most entertaining aspect of the night was the crowd interactions with the band. At times the mosh pit was huge with sometimes three crowd surfers at a time. The lead vocalist spent lots of time right up to the crowd offering in the microphone on many tracks. In what must be a Dropkicks tradition there was a ladies track in the encore. Last year it was 'Kiss Me. I'm Shitfaced' but this time the drinking song from the new album 'End of the Night' proved to be one of the highlights of the gig. Around 30 ladies from the crowd joined the band on stage which made their night.
Everyone needs to see a Dropkick Murphys gig in their lifetime!