Three out of the past four years, my friend Lauren and I have gone to the Dropkick Murphys’ St. Patrick’s Day concert. Lauren graduated in January, so I didn’t think our tradition would continue this year. I texted her, half joking, asking how she felt about a trip up to Boston for the show and was pleasantly surprised when she replied “I don’t see why not.” We began searching for tickets, but unfortunately the March 17th evening show was already sold out so we bought tickets for the 2PM show instead. I had some skepticism as to whether or not I’d feel ready to dive into a mosh pit in the middle of the day, but we decided to go for it.
The Dropkick Murphys are a Celtic Punk band from Boston. Their music combines Punk Rock with traditional Celtic influences. Their most well known song is probably “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.” They have immense Irish pride, hence the St. Patrick’s Day show in MA every year. This makes these concerts even more ridiculous. Generally, Dropkick Murphy fans fall into one of three categories: crazy, moderately crazy, or tame. The crazy fans congregate close to the stage. They form mosh pits where they run into each other at full force with arms akimbo and heads banging. Although moshers are often criticized for being violent, no one is actually trying to hurt anyone else in the pit. The moderately crazy fans are found just behind the crazy ones and form a less intense mosh pit. This mosh pit still involves people jostling each other, but generally the goal is skanking (a form of dance) not contact. Fans from both of these groups participate in crowd surfing. I would categorize myself as a moderately crazy fan. The tame fans are the ones who stand farthest from the stage and bounce up and down or dance in place to the music.
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day show did not fit with my previous experiences. First of all, the various brands of crazy were significantly overshadowed by the tame fans. A small mosh pit of crazy fans formed right in front of the stage, but there weren’t enough moderate crazies for us to sustain even a small mosh pit. The vast majority of the fans were standing in place and at particularly exciting parts of the show, jumping up and down. I attributed this change to the time of day and the fact that a lot of fans seemed to bring their kids. I was disappointed by the lack of moshing, but the Dropkick Murphys put on such a good show that in the end it didn’t matter.
Not only do I love the Dropkick Murphys’ music, their performances are more over the top and engaging than many of the concerts I have seen. For instance, a few of their songs were accompanied by the Irish Step-dancing of Ken Casey’s daughter and other girls from the Forbes School of Irish Dance. During the song “Warrior’s Code,” which is an ode to the boxer Mickey Ward, two boxers practiced throwing punches on stage while the band played in the background. The Dropkick Murphys also encourage audience participation more than any other band. During “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced,” 90% of the girls in the audience crowd surfed onto the stage and proceeded to sing along and dance with the band. During the following song, the guys in the audience began to crowd surf up to the stage until it couldn’t hold anyone else. The Dropkick Murphys play great, invigorating music and if you want an unforgettable concert experience you should definitely check them out. Dropkick never disappoints!