When the Dropkick Murphys are in town then you know about it and you don't half feel sorry for any band who has to go on before the Boston punk rock heavyweights.
Having said that, while this may be a diehard Dropkicks crowd, they certainly know how to appreciate a good band and that is certainly what support acts Grade 2 and The Devil Makes Three gave them. Although we were still trying to snake our way into the venue when Isle Of Wight melodic punks Grade 2 are finishing off their set, judging by the smiling faces pouring to the bars, it seems the band won themselves some new fans. The same could be said for bluegrass punks The Devil Makes Three who, armed with tracks like "Hallelujah", have this pumped-up crowd bouncing along in no time.
Make sure you're not "Chained to the Couch" next time The Devil Makes Three come to town:
After a prolonged intro tape the curtain drops and the Dropkick Murphys are back in town. Racing through "The Boys Are Back In Town", "Citizen CIA" and "Prisoner's Song", vocalists Ken Casey and Al Barr make immediate use of a box placed in the photo pit by hanging themselves over the front rows. Those front rows are, unsurprisingly, going absolutely bonkers, pogoing and screaming the words to every single lyric.
It literally takes your breath away watching the Dropkicks set about their business and it's also very apparent that, with two decades+ under their belts, this is a band who are still at the top of their game. A scan around the venue shows off an audience of young and old, new and hardcore fans but, when the band race into "The Gang's All Here", the entire room, including the band, becomes one sweaty bouncy family and it is this feeling that, even if it is just for an hour or so, you're really part of the night that makes every Dropkick Murphys show something special.
Encore time sees the band wind the set down with "Rose Tattoo", "Until The Next Time" and "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" and, with that, the night ends but ends on a massive high. Filing out into the street after the gig, punk fans of all ages head off in their different direction having spent the brilliant evening with these true legends and their punk rock family.
"The Boys Are Back" and don't the Dropkick Murphys want you to know it: