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Dropkick Murphys Show Was Total High Energy Monday at The Factory

The Scratch performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

–by Randy Thompson

–photos by Laura Tucker/Laura Tucker Photography

 

The Factory in Chesterfield played host to a raucous show from Dropkick Murphys on Monday Night. The acoustics here are great and there is not a bad seat in the house while the floor was opened up for general admission.

The Scratch, who opened the show, is a young, hungry band from Dublin, Ireland. They were formed in a kitchen just playing around together and realized they had something special as a group.

The Scratch performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

They announced to the crowd how happy they were to be touring the United States with the two bands tonight. They have an eclectic, hard edged, punk/metal sound with a strong Irish flavor encompassing very catchy melodies.

The Scratch performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

A cajon was played at the front of the stage by the lead singer Daniel Lang, as the rest of the band (Conor Dockery – guitar, Cathal McKenna – bass, and Jordan O’ Leary – guitar/vocals) would step forward playing accordions, bagpipes and guitars.

The Scratch performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

They are a high energy group and played from their hearts.  I particularly enjoyed “Session Song” and “Road to Ballyshannon”.

 

Next up was an established punk band known as Pennywise. The name was taken from the Stephen King novel. The band has been around for a very long time and has played with many of the greatest punk bands around. They have 12 albums to their credit and played with a pulsing anthemic punk attitude that carried forward into the audience. Most everybody in my section knew the music and sang along.

Pennywise performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The lyrics to their songs emphasized having a positive mental attitude. They also express strong feelings about political issues and are very upfront about it. At one point, lead singer Kim Lindberg stressed to the audience, “you know what’s right, and you know what’s wrong and we all have to stand together”.

Pennywise performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The band also played exceptional covers of great punk songs from bands that included the Beastie Boys and The Ramones, which thrilled the crowd.

Dropkick Murphys performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Dropkick Murphy’s began their show on Saturday night with an empty stage and a recorded version of a classic Irish tune, “The Foggy Dew”. Behind the stage was the name of the band in black and white letters and storm clouds slowly floating over them. Candles were lit on the stage, setting a murky and eerie presence. However, the mood changed abruptly, when the lights flooded the stage and out crashed vocalist Ken Casey and the rest of Dropkick Murphys.

Dropkick Murphys performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

They slammed straight into “The Boys Are Back” with a fury and from that moment on, the night was theirs. The crowd was ready, many of them dressed in kilts and black t-shirts that covered the Murphy’s history on their backs.

The band plays hardcore Celtic Punk with an attitude, and came out swinging with that same attitude. The audience was more than ready to go on this ride with them. There was a mosh pit, an attempted crowd surfer, and lots of fist pumping, chanting, and singing along.

Dropkick Murphys performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

I managed to work my way very close to the stage where the energy was palpable. Casey likes to play into the crowd, often leaning in, fist pumping and high fiving the audience. There was a strong energy flowing back and forth between the fans and the band during the show. The music swung between being serious and giving us a wink and a nudge with some hardcore punk lyrics and attitude. The band’s music covers a lot of ground lyrically, and includes the strong support of labor unions, emotional ups and downs in relationships, and a strong, defiant and rebellious power.

Dropkick Murphys performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The energy never let up throughout the evening, and the audience never slowed down, either. There is such a strong connection between the two, that it feels like a big, raucous family gathering.

Dropkick Murphys performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Even when Casey was holding up a Boston Bruins Jersey and was booed by St Louis Blues fans, he shrugged It off and said “I know I can kid around with you guys”, and then slammed into another punk rock Murphys classic. At times, he would toss his wireless microphone into the crowd and the fans would grab it and sing along. I was lucky to be one of those. It was an incredible moment among hundreds of incredible moments!

The Scratch performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The bulk of the music is punk with a heavy Irish slant, with not only three guitars, but bagpipes, drums, accordion, tin whistle, and other classic Irish instruments.

Despite Casey being the only original member of the group, (he played bass guitar until a motorcycle accident ended that), the band is a very tight-knit group, with every member playing their role exceptionally well.

Dropkick Murphys performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The talented musicians (Matt Kelly – drums, bodhrán, backing vocals, Al Barr – co-lead vocals, James Lynch – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, Tim Brennan – lead guitar, accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, piano, keyboards, backing vocals , and Jeff DaRosa – banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, rhythm guitar, keyboards, piano, harmonica, tin whistle, backing vocals) were energetic with unwavering skills on a large variety of instruments. Throughout the concert, however, Casey took over and covered the entire stage, keeping the audience connected the entire time. This is a talented group that you can tell really enjoy playing this music, and they feed off of the energy of the crowd. With songs like “Smash Shit Up”, “Bastards On Parade”, “Climbing A Chair To Bed”, “Skinheads On The MBTA”, and “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced”, Dropkick Murphys showed the ability to grind out punk songs that slam into your face like a Nor’ Easter.

The Scratch performing at The Factory in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

There were times when they changed the mood up and played punk ballads such as “Rose Tattoo”, “I’m Shipping To Boston”, and “The Auld Triangle”, with equal intensity but with a total shift in atmosphere. They also gave a nod to one of their most influential bands, AC/DC, and gave us a rousing version of “TNT”. The band pulled no punches as they played flawlessly, and with unwavering energy throughout the over 2 hour show to a packed house. The audience was left exhausted, thrilled, and totally satisfied. Do yourself a favor and go get your ass kicked at a Dropkick Murphys show!

Be sure to check out the entire photo gallery after the setlist below.

 

Dropkick Murphys Setlist:

The Foggy Dew, (Charles O’Neal song.

The Boys are Back

Climbing a Chair to Bed

Good as Gold

Smash Shit Up

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya

Bastards on Parade

Curse of a Fallen Soul

Road of the Righteous

Caught in a Jar

Skinhead on the MBTA

The State of Massachusetts

Firestarter Karaoke

The Auld Triangle (Brian Behan cover)

The Body of an American (The Pogues cover)

The Hardest Mile

Rose Tattoo

T.N.T. (AC/DC cover)

Captain Kelly’s Kitchen

I’m Shipping to Boston

Encore:

Do or Die

Worker’s Song

Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced

 

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