“The Boys Are Back!”
Dropkick Murphys' Benefit for the Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing
at the Boston House of Blues
April 28, 2013
By: Jay & Maia Kennedy
The Dropkick Murphys, a local Celtic punk band, put on the show of shows at the House of Blues in Boston. The excited and adoring crowd was made up of punks, college kids, cops, firefighters, townies, teens, parents, and even a few young children. This was a special event, put together at the last minute by Ken Casey (band founder, bass guitarist, and one of the lead singers). The band had been away on tour when they heard about the recent Boston bombings. Their first reaction, much like those first responders, was to reach out and do something to help. They not only collected money from ticket and t-shirt sales to give to the One Fund Boston, but also had a special section in the club for first responders and their family members.
The show started off with several other well-known, well-liked bands that often play with the Dropkicks. Barroom Heroes (named after the Dropkick Murphy single of the same name) kicked it off. A group of very happy and fun-loving guys from The Old Brigade then came next, followed by the beautiful looks and sounds of the Parkington Sisters. Next to rule the stage was another longtime local favorite, the ska punk band, Big D and the Kids Table. The opening numbers then concluded with a great mixture of reggae, punk, and rock from State Radio. Each of these bands may not have been familiar to everyone in the audience, but it didn’t matter, they all rocked and were thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Sometime after the last opening band had left the stage and the instruments had been cleared off, a strong female voice singing a familiar yet haunting song, wafted through the darkness over the crowd. This song, Foggy Dew (an old Irish ballad chronicling the Irishmen’s fight for their country in the Easter Uprising) begins every show and is a signal to the Dropkick fans that the show is starting!
This song was then closely followed by a solemn parade of musicians from the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipe & Drums, performing in full formal dress. The Dropkicks then rushed the stage to join them and instantly changed the tone from solemn to punk with, “For Boston.” A song once designed to root on the home team, the Bruins, now took on a different meaning. The crowd went nuts, everyone yelling and singing along! This was then followed by two more favorites, “The Boys are Back” and “The State of Massachusetts.”
After about an hour and a half of music from the Dropkicks, the show started wrapping up with, “End of the Night.” As soon as the song started, all of the girls in the audience rushed to get onstage to join them. The bouncers were right there to help, lifting everyone, both big and small, over the barriers and onto the stage. Then, as soon as “Skinhead on the MBTA” started, there was a mass rush from the guys in the audience to get onstage too. I don’t think the bouncers, as big and tough as they are, ever stood a chance to stop them, even if they had wanted to! The stage was soon crowded with both members of the band and the audience, everyone singing together.
When the show was finally over, the lights were all up, and we were all exiting stage-right, I looked behind me and noticed Kenny, the always warm and friendly guy that he is, still on stage and posing for pictures with his adoring fans. A true man of the people, perhaps he’d be a perfect choice to fill that upcoming vacancy in the Boston City Hall corner office!