Tag Archives: Irish

Concert Review: Dropkick Murphys / Against Me! / Off With Their Heads – House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH – 03/06/2011

If anyone in the Cleveland area was suffering from the Irish flu Monday morning, chances are it was because they were one of the many who the filled up the House Of Blues Sunday night to see the Dropkick Murphys (DKM) with special guests Against Me! and Off With Their Heads.  The Irish punk rockers just kicked off their St. Patrick’s Day tour in support of their new album Going Out In Style that was just released last week.  Having been sold out for months now, all who filled that venue last night were well aware that they would be treated to a top-notch performance by two of the most talented punk rock acts out there.

Fans of all ages waited anxiously outside the House Of Blues along Euclid Ave. prior to the doors opening.  The weather was relentless to all who showed up early with frigid winds hammering down upon everyone, especially to those who few decked out in kilts.  Everyone obviously was from Northeastern Ohio though as the cold did not ruin anyone’s spirits.  The doors to the venue soon opened and everyone made their way inside.

Opening act Off With Their Heads took the stage around eight o’clock and played through a straight up punk rock set.  The Minneapolis, MN band had no problem introducing their style to the packed house and by the third song of their set the crowd was getting into them.  Not worrying about initial crowd reaction, the band seemed more focused in on rocking out as they tore through their set with songs including “Fuck This, I’m Out” and “Terrorist Attack”.

Gainesville, Florida’s Against Me! followed soon after delivering one of their best live sets I have seen to date.  These boys have come a long way in their career and really are not that punk rock band they used to be.  They have turned into rockstars, there is no doubt about that, and fully embrace their change in style to the fullest.

The fans went crazy as the band played quite a few selections off their newest release White Crosses as well as older material like “Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong”, “T.S.R.”  and one of my favorites, “Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists.”  Tom Gabel, James Bowman and Andrew Seward were beyond energetic and encouraged crowd participation throughout the set.

I was sad to see that Warren Oakes was not behind the drums anymore as he departed from the band back in 2009 in favor of becoming a restauranteur, but their current drummer for 2011, Jay Weinberg, was absolutely amazing.  Many of you may know his father – Max Weinberg, you know, the that guy who played drums for Conan O’Brien as well as some guy named Bruce Springsteen.  Like father, like son, young Weinberg was a treat to watch live with the rest of the band.

Ending their set with “Sink Florida, Sink”, all the Against Me! fans in the crowd sung with the band as loud as they could proving that rockstars or not, there were plenty of true fans gathered to see them play that night.

Gabel with his very similar James “Buffalo Bill” Gumb looking hairdo and crew were all smiles throughout their shorter-than-I-preferred-set.  I may be biased sounding here, but I am used to seeing this band headline shows so to see them fill in a middle slot with no encore was kind of a bummer.  I was not the only one who felt this way either as other Against Me! fans begged for just a couple more songs, but the band needed to make way for the headliners.  Headlining or not, this band gave it their all from the moment they took that stage until the last note was played.

Taking the stage in style, DKM emerged to the crowd in the dark while Thin Lizzy’s “Boys Are Back In Town” blasted over the PA.  The Irish punk rock heroes of the working class took their place on stage and immediately tore into “Hang Em High” with Jeff DaRosa starting things off on banjo as well as Scruffy Wallace doing his thing on the bagpipes.

To say that the crowd went wild would be an understatement.  They went insane and pretty much stayed that way for the band’s entire set.  It probably helped that lead singer Al Barr kept jumping down off the stage and into the crowd throughout the night to get some help from the fans as well as the rest of the band sounding amazing as ever.  Sadly James Lynch was not able to make the Cleveland show, but their guitar tech saved the night and filled in.

Focusing on newer material throughout the set, the band cranked through “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen” as well as “Deeds Not Words” but also played a few gems like “The Gang’s All Here” and even “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”.  “Barroom Hero” with Ken Casey taking the lead was without a doubt my favorite song played.  Casey also was the one in the band who spoke up about the union issues going on currently and dedicated “Worker’s Song” to all who are dealing it.

The female that joined DKM, whose name I did not catch, not only played fiddle throughout the night, but also did a hell of a job singing with Casey and Barr on “The Dirty Glass”.  In fact, for a quick moment I thought Stephanie Dougherty snuck up on stage.

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston” was without a doubt the crowd’s favorite song of the night.  The moment the first notes of that song started everyone knew exactly what was about to happen.  Barr screamed at the crowd with mic in hand atop a wooden box for a moment and soon thereafter jumped towards the crowd again for some more help.

The encore was more like an all out party.  Hordes of female fans were invited onto stage as DKM played the crowd ‘s anthem of the night “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced”.  Tons of girls all took advantage of the invite and continued to jump on stage until there was no more room left.

Of course the band had to invite all the boys to the stage soon after to help sing the final song of the night, “Boys On The Docks”.  I was seriously tempted to push my way up front and try my luck at jumping up there, but clearly there was not enough room for the what looked like 100 fans that were already up there.  Honestly I am not quite sure how the band was even able to play, but they did, and it was awesome to watch.

People off all ages (and I mean all ages – there was a seven-year-old front stage and center) were Irish for a night.  It was really cool to see all the different types of people who came out that night and enjoy themselves.  Some folk were holding up union shirts as a symbol of thanks to the DKM for their stand with all that is going on with the workers labor issues while others held up their pints high.  Everyone was signing loud and proud throughout the night all thanks to DKM and their 15-year career.

Off With Their Heads setlist:
1612 Havenhurst
Their Own Medicine
Trying To Breathe
I Am You
Terrorist Attack
The Eyes Of Death
Fuck This I’m Out
Cover Song (Fake Boys)
Keep Falling Down (I think…)
Die Today
Clear The Air

Against Me! Setlist (from what I gathered):
High Pressure Low
Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong
From Her Lips To God’s Ears
Don’t Lose Touch
Rice and Bread
White Crosses
New Wave
I Was A Teenage Anarchist
You Look Like I Need A Drink
Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry  Balled Fists
White People For Peace
Bamboo Bones
Walking Is Still Honest
Thrash Unreal
Sink Florida, Sink

DKM Setlist:
Hang ‘Em High
Captain Kelly’s Kitchen
Barroom Hero
The Gang’s All Here
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Never Alone
Deeds Not Words
The State Of Massachusetts
Memorial Day
Road Of The Righteous
Curse Of A Fallen Soul
Going Out In Style
Take ‘Em Down
Worker’s Song
The Gauntlet
The Dirty Glass
Citizen C.I.A.
The Auld Triangle
Broken Hymns
The Irish Rover
I’m Shipping Up To Boston

Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced
Skinhead On The Mbta
Boys On The Docks

Watch This: Dropkick Murphys “Going Out In Style” Video

The Dropkick Murphys’ new album Going Out In Style just dropped this week via their own Born & Bred Records. In connection with the release, the band released a video for the title track called “Going Out In Style”:

Man I want a Guinness now…

A little info about the video for those of you who might have recognized a few familiar faces (taken from the band’s website):

In the clip–directed by Mark Higgins–a funeral parlor scene quickly becomes a raucous celebration of life. Dropkick Murphys are joined by friends, family and special guests including NHL Hall of Famer Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins alumni), fellow musicians Fat Mike (NOFX) and Chris Cheney (The Living End), along with a host of Boston-based celebrities: Micky Ward (boxing champion; The Fighter), Lenny Clarke (Rescue Me actor & comedian), Shawn Thornton (Boston Bruins), Milan Lucic (Boston Bruins), Kevin Youkilis (Boston Red Sox) and Heidi Watney (NESN reporter).

I do not know about you, but I enjoyed that video a lot.  I have loved  Dropkick for many years now and am stoked that they keep dishing out new material.

I actually just got my hands on the album and hope to have a review soon for you all.  Having heard a little bit of it previously I can tell you the Boston punks still have their sound on this concept album of sorts.

I am also going to be seeing them this Sunday at the House of Blues in Cleveland with my brother.  The show is sold out and has been for a couple of months now.  I was lucky and grabbed tickets early as I knew it would.  Saying I am excited is an understatement and I am stoked to be able to take my own brother to the show.

Review on their live show with Against Me! and Off With Their Heads to follow as well.

St. Patrick’s Day Is The Only Way

Being an Irishman myself I have to confess that St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite time of the year.  Forget the winter holidays, the turkey dinner, or the fireworks.  I like my day to be green and I am not talking about Earth Day.

I remember the days when I would drink the day away with my brother and friends.  We would start the day early, 4am early, and pretty much try to destroy our livers.  I would sing, ok attempt to sing, Irish songs while spending ridiculous amounts of money on liquids that would guarantee in a disturbing hangover.  Boondock Saints would be played on repeat as we took naps to try and sober up for the rest of the evening for another round of debauchery.  One might think it is stupid and a waste but some of the best days I ever had were with my friends just being stupid.

As the years pass by though I am not the drinking machine I used to be and the thought of green beer does nothing for my taste buds.  Kegs and eggs is something of my past and I feel old admitting it.  Pour me a pint of Guinness just like any other day for me and I am perfectly contempt.

I still love the day and I always will.  I love everything about being Irish and I especially love my Irish punk rock music.

Yes, I really was going somewhere with this…

Remember these guys?  The Dropkick Murphys?

To help celebrate the big day I have decided to post some videos that the Dropkick Murphys have been posting around the interwebs.  Almost makes me want to relocate to Boston…

If you are wondering where some of this footage came from I might as will let you know that today, March 16th, the Dropkick Murphys released a live CD/DVD for all to see.

Six shows in seven days were thrown into the release that is more like a party like none other.  That is what Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA is all about, fun.  If you like all that you saw on here you should make sure you pick up this ultimate St. Patrick’s Day party favor – after all every day is St. Patty’s Day. Pint glasses not included and aspirin highly suggested.

Here’s an exclusive video for you if you liked what you saw already. Head over to Spin.com and check out the video for “State Of Massachusetts”.

Concert Review: Frank Turner / Flogging Molly / The Architects – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH – 03/05/2010

It was a sold out kind of night last night in Cleveland thanks to a couple of events that were going on.  First there was the sold out Cleveland Cavaliers game going on at the Quicken Loans Arena.  It was Sunggie night after all so you know everyone and their mother wanted to get a glorified Cavs robe and cheer on the hometown team.  Apparently a new Guinness World Record was set for the most ridiculous looking people all in one place at one time. I’m sorry but being part of “largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets” is not something that I want to think about in Cleveland on a Friday night.

Luckily for me and many other folk there was something much better going on just around the corner at the House Of Blues sans the Snuggies.  UK artist Frank Turner and some Celtic punk rock band called Flogging Molly were playing a sold out show and I was a part of it.  There was Guinness there too, the kind that is best served in pint glasses.

With many shows I attend I usually focus on the headlining act.  Where I am a fan of Flogging Molly and always will be, this night was all about me seeing Frank Turner live for the first time.  I am pretty sure I am the only person who was more excited for the one time punk rocker turned folk rock musician over the Irish punkers.

Opening act The Architects from Kansas City, MO started off the night with a bang.  Having never heard of them before they grabbed my attention with their straight forward rock n roll styles.  The foursome had great stage presence and the crowd rewarded them with constant approval.  I later learned that three of the members of the band used to be in the ska act The Gadjits. featuring the three Phillips brothers.  After hearing the Architects’ set I never would have fathomed them being in a ska band prior.  Great set by a great band I hope to hear more from in the future.

To say I was excited when Frank Turner and his nameless band took the stage would be an understatement.  With smiles on all of the band member’s faces they broke into “The Road” which just sounded amazing live.  I am sure it is safe to say not a lot of the people packed into the House Of Blues knew who Turner was but after just a couple songs in the crowd soon learned about the UK sensation who openly admitted that it was his first time in Cleveland as well as offered apologies if the set sucked at he was fighting a nasty cold.

Pointing to the crowd for a volunteer Turner chose a young fan to play harmonica on “Dan’s Song” knowing fully that the kid never played the harp in his life.  With a quick lesson Turner played the song alone on acoustic guitar and gave the honorary band member of the night “the look” when it was time for him to play.  Sure it did not sound like the recorded version or anything close to it but it was hilarious.

Armed with his acoustic guitar Turner continued the night along with his band playing like it was his most important show of his career.  He proudly yelled “Hello, Cleveland” to the crowd and fought his illness through each song.   It was apparent how ill he was feeling but he kept trucking along through the set that included “Poetry Of The Deed” as well as “Love, Ire, & Song” as well as “Back In The Day”.

From where I planted my feet the fans around me all seemed to enjoy Turner who let many in on a little secret telling them all that is was not actually a folk artist but a punk rocker who plays folk music.  Closing the night out with “Photosynthesis” I could only hope for a headlining show the next time Turner and crew come back to Cleveland.  They put on a great show and I am thrilled to be able to say I saw Turner live finally.

Without a doubt everyone was Irish for the night as Flogging Molly is notoriously known for spreading the Irish cheer around with their likable Celtic punk rock sing along jams.  Once the seven-piece took the stage it was clear how many people were packed into the venue to see them.  Fueled mainly on Jamison and Guinness the crowd showed no sign of calming down throughout the set.  Entertaining as always, Dave King pranced around the stage with Nathan Maxwell slapping the bass and the rest of the crew just playing a solid strong set.

I stayed for about the first half of the set and will try and post Flogging Molly’s set list on here the moment I find it.  Remember, I was there for Frank Turner, so once things started getting really crazy I packed up and headed towards the exit.  I have nothing against Flogging Molly at all but I have seen them multiple times and really am used to the good times they exhume.  Being a proud Irishman myself I know all too well what an evening of Irish music and stouts can do to my body so I chose to play it safe.  I am pretty sure not many followed my idea and are still battling the Irish flu today.

Speaking of flu it was reported by Frank Turner himself on Twitter that he had to pull from the Detroit show tonight so I am even more pleased I was able to see him last night.

Here is his Tweet he posted:

@fthc – MotherF***ER. Very sad to say I’ve got to pull tonight’s show in Detroit. Sick as a dog, no voice. A thousand apologies.

Get well soon Frank Turner and thank you for fighting through your amazing set last night in Cleveland.  It was a highlight to my year.

Frank Turner Set:
The Road
Try This At Home
Dan’s Song
Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
Sons Of Liberty
Poetry Of The Deed
Love, Ire, & Song
Back In The Day

(I may have missed a song or entered the wrong one.  Corrections always welcomed.)