What do you get when you mix green beer, St Patrick’s Day in Boston, traditional Irish songs, hardcore music, a wedding proposal and the Boston Police Gaelic Column Pipes and Drums corps? Why, you get the newest release from Boston’s own Dropkick Murphys, of course. Recorded live at the Avalon Ballroom in their home city on March 15, 16 & 17 of 2001, this is a disc to remember.
I’ve had occasion to see DKM several times and never left disappointed. They are a great live band, but I’ve yet to experience them on St. Paddy’s day. With a great mix of traditional Irish songs (harcorized as only DKM could possibly do it…) such as “Finnegan’s Wake,” “Wild Rover,” and their signature tune, “Skinhead on the MTBA” (a Dropkick Murphys version of the traditional “Charlie on the MTBA”) and DKM favorites such as “The Gang’s All Here,” “Barroom Hero,” and “Boys On The Docks” there is very little room for criticism of the tracklisting. The only song that is missing from this lineup is “Pipebomb On Lansdowne” which is one of my personal DKM favorites.
The music is typical underground hardcore/Oi! music with a unique flair in the fact that they use a bagpipe on many of the songs. I love heavy music and I love traditional Irish music, so Dropkick Murphys is a natural for me. They are the only band I’ve ever seen that mixes those particular styles. As Dennis Lehane Author says in the linear notes: “This is not second-rate, Cobain-envy, grunge rock for the Gap set. And it’s not the brag-n-slag mediocrity that’s overtaken so much of hip hop. This is three-chords-and-a-bagpipe-party rock and roll.” That pretty much sums it up.
This is a seminal live set by a great band that is fortunately, local for me. They are a must-see, but if you can’t, you might as well grab this disc, since it’s the next best thing.
Oh, and yes, there really is a marriage proposal recorded on this disc. You’ll have to listen to it to find out what she said.