Dropkick Murphys and Rancid

Dropkick Murphys and Rancid, Boston to Berkeley II
at the Worcester Palladium Outdoors

by Maia Kennedy

This pandemic has been a long one, the accompanying drought of concerts has left many thirsty. But we’ve been lucky, the Dropkick Murphys have come through a number of times to lift our spirits with free streaming shows. Now finally, after almost 2 years, we got to see them again in-person!

The weekend was hot and humid, with a warning of Hurricane Henri close by, but no one seemed to care. Shortly after the gates opened, there was a mad dash to the front of the stage and the outdoor venue was soon packed. Everyone was excited, finally able to get together for a real show, a celebratory brawl along with mosh pits of sweaty souls to a feast of favorite songs.

Dropkick Murphys ran on with boundless energy, greeting us with State of Massachusetts. They played to us and sang with us, they jumped and hollered with us too. Everyone’s favorites were played, all of the songs from old to new.

 Co-headliners, Rancid, haven’t shared the stage with the Dropkick Murphys in several years. The crowd went nuts when they came on early in the night to accompany for Barroom Hero. The old friendship was visible without explanation. But Ken Casey, mentioned, “these guys helped us out when we were nothing.”

With a lot of bands, the “true fans” prove their status by insisting they were with them from the start, throwing out only names of early songs as their favorites. Not DKM fans, they love them all. And this band doesn’t disappoint, they’ve never lost their signature sound over an incredible long history. Their latest album, Turn Up That Dial, is packed with one single after another, from Middle Finger to Mick Jones Stole My Pudding to Smash Shit Up. And they played them all at the show. Kenny has joked before when introducing a slow song that this is the time that everyone goes to stand in line for the bathroom. But that didn’t happen this night. When Al Barr dedicated I Wish You Were Here to Brendan “Stu” Maguire, everyone stayed. People stayed close, put their arms around each other, and swayed. The song had meaning to just about everyone in the audience that night.

 “When I'm looking back
On the time that we shared
Hope you know you were loved
And that I always cared”

For Rancid's set, their old-school, Cali-punk sound & vibe was welcomed enthusiastically. They started with the fan-favorite, Roots Radical. Branden Steineckert raising his drum sticks in a welcoming salute. It was a steamy night, but everyone was dancing, moshing, diving, getting sweaty and loving it! Rancid played long and hard, Lars and Tim covered the stage. They switched places from left to right, jumping on the amps so everyone could see. Every song played was a favorite and the crowd hollered the words along with them.

The Bronx, a hardcore punk band (curiously, from L.A. not NY) came on with a roar.  Their raw sound and manic energy overflowed the stage and got soaked up in the mosh pit. Matt Caughthran’s lyrics were guttural and angry, but songs were followed up with a devilish smile as he joked with the crowd.

The evening started early with an unannounced performance by local favorite Jesse Ahern, treating us to an acoustic set of songs. Described as a “blue-collar Americana blues troubadour,” the verses delivered by this lyrical poet with a gravelly voice come from the heart.  

“What’s wrong with wanting more
United we bonded for
You’ve got yours so why can’t I have mine”

There was a wide range of ages at this show, from grade school to retirees. There were best friends forever and friends just made. Multiple generations shared the night. Everyone left with the music still ringing in their ears and memories stored on their cell phones. Each band threw out keepsakes too, guitar picks, drumsticks, and setlists. Kenny even handed out a few copies of the new album, on vinyl. It’s always hard to let the evening end and say goodbye, but then there’s looking forward to next time!

More pics of Dropkick Murphys here.

More pics of Rancid here.

More pics from The Bronx here.

More pics of Jesse Ahern here.

Dropkick Murphys
Ken Casey (lead vocals), Al Barr (lead vocals), Tim Brennan (guitars, accordion, vocals), Jeff DaRosa (banjo, mandolin, harmonica, acoustic guitars, vocals), Matt Kelly (drums, percussion, vocals), James Lynch (guitar, vocals), Kevin Rheault (bass) and Lee Forshner (bagpipes)

1. State of Massachusetts
2. Boys on the Docks
3. Turn Up That Dial
4. L-EE-B-O-Y
5. Middle Finger
6. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
7. Barroom Hero (with Lars + Tim from Rancid)
8. Queen of Suffolk County
9. Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding
10. Good as Gold  
11. The Bonny (Gerry Cinnamon cover)from  Smash Shit Up CD
12. Citizen C.I.A.
13. Get Up
14. Road of the Righteous
15. Smash Shit Up
16. I Wish You Were Here (in memory of Brendan “Stu” Maguire)
17. Going Out in Style
18. Rose Tattoo
19. The Boys Are Back
20. I’m Shipping Up to Boston

Tim Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Lars Frederiksen (vocals, guitar), Matt Freeman (bass, vocals), Branden Steineckert (drums)

1. Roots Radicals
2. Fall Back Down
3. Journey to the End of the East Bay
4. Maxwell Murder
5. The 11th Hour
6. Last One to Die
7. East Bay Night
8. Listed M.I.A.
9. Ghost of a Chance
10. Telegraph Ave
11. Old Friend (dedicated to CM Punk)
12. Hooligans
13. Salvation
14. Rejected
15. Olympia WA
16. The Wars End
17. It’s Quite Alright
18. Something in the World Today
19. Black & Blue
20. Radio
21. Time Bomb
22. Ruby Soho

The Bronx
Matt Caughthran (lead vocals), Joby J. Ford (guitarist), Ken Horne (guitarist), Joey Castillo (drums), Brad Magers (bass)

1. Heart Attack American
2. Knifeman
3. Shitty Future
4. Under the Rabbit
5. White Shadow

Jesse Ahern
1. Just a Moment (new album)
2. Heartache and Love (new album)
3. Broken Jaw (new album)
4. Out of My Mind Straight to Hell (The Clash cover, wishing Joe Strummer a Happy Birthday)
5. Time Will Tell What’s Wrong With
6. Highway of Life

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