Dropkick Murphys are in the midst of a month-long tour of the U.S. Northeast, culminating with the band's traditional run of shows in Boston on St. Patrick's Day Week. AXS caught the legendary rockers' sold-out show on March 14 at the historic State Theatre in Portland, Maine. Here are five reasons to catch the Dropkick Murphys live:
1) They're a 'wicked sensitive crew'
Look a bit deeper than the Celtic warrior imagery and mosh-worthy sound, and you'll see the Dropkick Murphys are a bunch of softies. In 2005's classic "Wicked Sensitive Crew," the band mocked pop-punk tough guys with neck tattoos, while boldly declaring that they want to hang with "some seriously sensitive dudes." The song had a jokey tone, but Ken Casey and the rest of the Murphys crew are seriously some of the most kindhearted individuals in the business. The band's Claddagh Fund charity, created by Casey in 2009, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for underfunded non-profits in areas such as Boston and Philadelphia.
2) They utilize unique and unusual instruments
With the Dropkick Murphys, fans are treated to some authentic Celtic punk sounds. They have a lot more to offer than just your standard guitar, bass, drums and vocals fare. Not only does the band have a tin whistle player, but they also trot out a bagpipe player for "The Spicy McHaggis Jig."
3) They play a nice mix of new and old
There's nothing worse than seeing your favorite band suddenly stop performing early-career material. Luckily, the Dropkick Murphys would never drop their classics from the set list. They do a fantastic job mixing old with new, performing a range of cuts dating all the way back to 1998's Do or Die.
4) It's the best way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day
There's no better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day Week than to go to a Dropkick Murphys show. It doesn't matter if you're Irish or not: The band has everyone wearing green, chugging Guinness and dancing to the sweet sounds of Boston punk rock.
5) They are the gold standard for Celtic punk
In recent years, the Celtic punk rock community witnessed the rise of such acts as Flogging Molly and the Mahones. But when it comes right down to it, the Murphys set the bar for the genre. They're the best in the world at what they do, and everyone else is just trying to play catch-up.