There are not many gigs you will attend where you get to witness a banjo solo, or a mosh pit to ‘The Fields of Athenry‘, but that’s exactly what happened when Dropkick Murphy’s brought their St Patricks day tour to Vicar street on Thursday night. I didn’t know what to expect walking in to the venue as I had heard that dropkick Murphy’s gigs can be pretty intense, and I was not disappointed. The Bouncing Souls were on support duty which was a nice surprise. I used to listen to them a lot in my youth before they completely dropped off my radar. They were still as punk as I remembered and they mostly stuck to their newer material and even treated the crowd to a haunting slowed down version of the misfits song ‘Hybrid Moments‘. When they had left the stage the crowd burst into sporadic chants of “Lets go Murphy’s” until finally their demand was met.
Mystical sounding Irish music announced their arrival before the crowd descended into what I can only describe as absolute chaos. I was standing to the right of the stage and several men near me were thrown out for fighting before the first song had even hit top pace. The crowd managed to settle down a bit after this but for pretty much every song the majority of the floor space turned into a giant mosh pit. It was a high energy high speed performance and the crowd responded to this in kind. Midway through the gig they slowed things down with a more acoustic sounding set including the ‘Warrior’s Code‘, ‘Boys on the Docks‘ and ‘Devils Brigade‘ before launching full force back into their heavier faster material. Fans were treated to a never before heard song that will be on their new album. It was very catchy and even though we were not given a title I was still humming it on the way home. As well as showcasing some new material they dipped into their impressive back catalogue for several fan favourites including “The Irish Rover”, “The State of Massachusetts”, “Tessie” and “Hallelujah” among others. After an impressively long set they left the stage and we were once again engulfed by chants of “Lets Go Murphy’s, Let’s Go”.
After a brief absence they returned for their encore, and invited a large portion of the female audience on stage for “Kiss me, I’m shitfaced”. As time went on more and more people climbed onto the stage until it was impossible to spot the band members, as fan and band alike sang into the mics. They surprised everyone with the AC/DC classic ‘T.N.T’ before finally finishing on ‘Citizen C.I.A’. Despite the sometimes too rowdy crowd I really enjoyed it. They put on such a high energy and engaging set that it was impossible not to enjoy. I think they easily could have filled a bigger venue judging from the amount of people outside looking to buy from touts for the sold out gig and the fact they have such a strong connection with Ireland. Hopefully they will pay us another visit after the release of their new album.