In the aftermath of Vancouver's hockey riots, which ignited when the local team (the Vancouver Canucks) lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins, there has been a great deal of analysis going on, as the town’s civic psyche has been under the microscope to determine just how such mayhem ensued. Mass shame and embarrassment has clouded over most of the 604 area code.
Boarded windows have become “apology walls” where citizens write notes to right wrongs, providing a communal coming together to mourn the rioters’ actions in an attempt to collectively heal. Yes, it borders on new-age, but there’s something endearing about it.
In this light, the arrival of Boston’s Dropkick Murphys for two sold-out shows at the Commodore couldn’t have been more ill-timed. Instead of sympathy, the Celtic punks delivered a sound kick to the stitches.
The first scab-pick occurred before the curtains parted, with its choice of “We are the Champions” for fanfare. The open curtains salted more wounds when they revealed a Bruins logo on the bass drum and bassist/singer Ken Casey sporting a Bobby Orr jersey.
A Boston Bruins season ticket holder, who came to Vancouver to see Game 7 and subsequently witness the riot, Casey proved to be unrelenting in his ridicule.
Before throwing a picture of himself with the Stanley Cup (taken on the Vancouver rink) into the crowd, he blessed the Vancouver faithful with “From the bottom of my heart, fuck you.”
Early in the show, he also offered up scathing hockey advice: “You need a better goalie” and, “Our 20-year-old rookie [Brad Marchand] punching your leading scorer [Daniel Sedin] in the face and having nobody stick up for him said a lot about your team’s character.” While a scant smattering of boos rose up, nobody could argue with the man on his second point.