The Dropkick Murphys shipped up to Boston after a year long tour to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend with hometown fans, friends, and family.

The Dropkick Murphys are a Celtic punk rock band from Boston, MA. They got their grass roots start in the basement of a barbershop in Quincy, MA in 1996. Their growing success has been fueled by constant touring along with select songs such as “Tessie” supporting the 2004 World Series winning Boston Red Sox, and “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” being featured in the 2006 Academy Award winning movie The Departed. The Dropkick Murphys played five sold out homecoming shows in four days at the House of Blues in Boston.

The 21st Century Fugitives are a young guitar driven rock band formed in Boston, MA in 2011. They won the Battle of the Bands at the State Fair in Marshfield, won New England Young Performer in 2014 presented by Limelight Magazine, and won the 2015 New England Radar Award presented by and opened for the Dropkick Murphys in 2014 and 2015.

The 21st Century Fugitives are 15 to 17 years old with John Lucas on vocals, Jimmy Bezreh on guitar, Jaden Mendola on bass, Jackson Kehoe on keys, and Gavin Burke on drums. They played songs from their 2013 EP, Regret Nothing, including Let Me Go, Dazed, Down, Hurricane, and Epic Fail. Their closing cover of “Bulls On Parade” by Rage Against The Machine got the crowd moving and singing along.

The BarRoom Heroes are a punk band from Weymouth, MA who started getting attention when their first show was shut down by the police in 2012. What was the problem? They were just 10 and 11 years old and weren’t allowed to play the venue. A local news station reached out to Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys for a comment because the boys named their band after a Dropkick Murphys song, “Barroom Hero.” The BarRoom Heroes opened for the Dropkick Murphys soon after and the boys have not stopped since.

The BarRoom Heroes, a three piece band, was formed by brothers Jake Bell on guitar and Nick Bell on bass and bagpipes. The brothers share and trade off on vocals and are rounded off by Davey Dryer on drums. They are currently writing and recording their next release titled Where The Bastards Roam. They may be relatively young, but they are seasoned musicians that take the stage getting the crowd involved with their show. The BarRoom Heroes set included: “Intro,” “Chika Chika,”
“Molly Malone,” “Where The Bastards Roam,” “Levittown,” “One Day,” and “Last Night.” The BarRoom Heroes brought up Finny McConnell of the Mahones to sing an encore of 7 Drunken Nights.

The Mahones are a Canadian Celtic punk rock band from Toronto, Ontario that started March 17, 1990. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary by a tour laden 2015 and releasing a two-part concept album titled The Hunger and the Fight. The first part was released in October 2014 with the second part scheduled to be released later in 2015. The Hunger and the Fight narrates the struggle and history of the Irish and covers various genres of Irish music including traditional, folk, and punk rock.

There is true chemistry on stage between Finny McConnell on guitar and vocals and his wife Katie “Kaboom” McConnell on accordian, along with Dom “The Bomb” Whelan on drums, Sean “Riot” Ryan on bass, and Sean Winter on mandolin. Their set included: “A Great Night on the Lash,” “Paint The Town Red,” “Shakespeare Road,” “The Hunger & The Fight,” “Give it All You Got,” “Is This Bar Open ‘Til Tomorrow,” and “Take No Prisoners.” The Mahones brought up the BarRoom Heroes for an encore of “Drunken Lazy Bastard,” complete with a stage dive and crowd surf from Davey Dryer of the BarRoom Heroes.

The Dropkick Murphys play Celtic street punk, telling tales of heroes, liberty, union, working class struggles, pride, and days gone past with songs like “10 Years Of Service,” “A Few Good Men,” “Boys on the Docks,” and “Fairmont Hill.” The Dropkick Murphys opened their set with “Out of Our Heads,” “Legend of Finn McCool,” “Sunday Hardcore Matinee,” “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya,” “Irish Rover,” and “Time to Go.”

Ken Casey played bass and traded vocals with Al Barr along with guitarists James Lynch and Tim Brennan, Matt Kelly on drums, and Jeff DaRosa on banjo, mandolin, and other instruments. The band was joined by several Irish Step Dancers out of the Forbes School of Irish Dance from Quincy, MA. Their moves and stomps were choreographed to the beat of the music as they swirled across the stage during a few key songs.

The Dropkick Murphys set continued with “Cruel,” “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen,” “Bastards on Parade,” “Peg O My Heart,” “Boys on Docks,” “Fields of Athenry,” and “Heroes From Our Past.” The Dropkick Murphys then brought out a dart board. Random songs were shown on the big screen behind the band and three audience members were given darts. The band had to play whichever song the dart landed on with a highlight of Nick Gold jumping on stage to help sing one of the random songs, “John Law.”

The Dropkick Murphys finished the night with “You’re Spirits Alive,” “Warriors Code,” “Rose Tattoo,” “Rocky Road To Dublin/I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” and “The Boys are Back.” A man wearing a kilt jumped on stage and removed his prosthetic leg during “Shipping Up” just as the lyrics “I’m a sailor peg
and I’ve lost my leg. Climbing up the top sails I lost my leg!” were sung.

As a finale, the Dropkick Murphys invited all the girls from the audience to the stage for an encore of “Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced,” “Skinhead On The MBTA,” “TNT,” and “CIA.”

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About The Author

Bill grew up in and around Boston in Dorchester and Quincy and still lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts. A life long musician cutting his teeth in punk, hard rock, and metal he still plays and records with his band Third Knuckle. Bill has taken photos of local Boston bands for several years helping bands as a favor to other musicians and as a hobby for bands recently shooting The Cro-Mags, Comeback Kid, Anit-Nowhere League, Death Before Dishonor, Slapshot, Ignite, Guttermouth, and Sloppy Seconds. Bill shoots under BAMF Photography and started shooting & reviewing for the NRR team in early 2014.