Celtic punk rockers Dropkick Murphys delivered a raucous set during last night’s sold-out performance at House of Blues Myrtle Beach. The Boston band noted for its rowdy style and frenetic shows didn’t disappoint, in a full house that seemingly mainlined each note.
Before hitting the stage, the band teased an already revved-up crowd, as the mostly instrumental “Lonesome Boatman” filled the air. The building tune - from the new album 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory – ultimately crescendo-ed, with the first crack of fan favorite “The Boys are Back” in hot pursuit.
Loudly chanting the song’s looping line “The Boys are Back” along with the band, the audience was whipped into a frenzy. Bellowing bagpipes gave way to frontman Al Barr’s gritty vocals and a veritable explosion within the venue ensued.
Besides bagpipes, Dropkick Murphys weave a number of other Celtic instruments into their punk rock mix, including mandolins and accordions. Also, vocal duties are shared by founder and bassist Ken Casey, who did just that on the fast and furious tune “Going Out in Style,” from the band’s 2011 album of the same name.
While the band’s touring in support of 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory, Dropkick’s nearly 90 minute set spanned much of their nine studio albums. Additional songs included Signed and Sealed in Blood’s (2013) mandolin-drenched “Rose Tattoo,” The Meanest of Times’ (2007) “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya,” and the band’s rolling hit “Shipping up to Boston” off The Warrior’s Code (2005).
Unexpected amid Dropkick’s working-class anthems and rough and tumble chorales, was the band’s solid cover of the Cars’ 1978 hit “Just What I Needed.” The relentless crowd surfing continued with the tune, and the crowd crooned loudly along with Barr to the chorus.
The Dropkick Murphys closed the night - opened by L.A. band The Interrupters and Dublin brood Blood or Whiskey – by inviting the audience to join them on-stage. Flanked by fans of all ages, the band wrapped their non-stop set among a sea of ecstatic Dropkick devotees.
Learn more about the band in our article, “5 things you didn’t know about Dropkick Murphys."