Dropkick Murphys at Liverpool O2 AcademySupport: The Living End
June 28, 2017 at Liverpool O2 Academy
Despite numerous attempts to find out the set times for this show, to plan my trip after work, the nearest I could get was hearing that main support The Living End were due to begin anytime between 8:00 and 8:20 from previous shows. Despite getting there in good time and navigating the box office and steep stairs into the venue, by the time I had got in and worked my way through the impressive crowd, the band were in full flow. I had never really got into the bands recorded output, I’m not sure why, it just never stuck with me, but live they proved to be a completely different prospect. The Australian trio are great fun and helped add to the already growing atmosphere. Any band featuring a double bass instantly has a different stage presence than a normal setup for some reason and these are no different, especially when bassist Scott Owen is perched on top of his. The band were once pushed quite heavily by a fair amount of the rock press over here, and now its easy to see why. They seemed to drop off the radar for a while, but they’re still around plugging away and putting on some fine shows. A new listen to their albums may be in order after this.
The Dropkick Murphys are beckoned onstage by the usual “Lets Go Murphys” chant, and after the brief mostly instrumental opener, the show properly kicks off. I never used to miss a North West show by this band, but haven’t seen the last couple of tours, and its great to report that the band are as energetic, pumped and fresh as ever, the crowd as noisy as always, and the songs requiring many drunken sing-alongs as usual. With a new album (the excellent 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory) out, there is understandably a few aired from that release amongst all of the old favourites, but with the band not being the most experimental band around, the new tracks elicit much the same response. It was maybe a little quieter, but better than most bands get when they announce a new track.
The first half seemed to fly by, as they powered through three or four tracks at a time before briefly chatting to the crowd. Noisy rendition of ‘The Fields of Athenry’ was an early highlight (and got a louder response than normal due to its association with Liverpool FC), but it was the second half of the show that got everyone going. A medley of tracks from debut album Do Or Die, followed by a special version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (again linked famously with Liverpool) that nearly brought the house down. This show was performed on the day that it was announced that charges had been brought against six people found to have been at fault for the Hillsborough disaster, and there wasn’t a soul in there that wasn’t singing along to it. A real goosebumps moment. An encore featuring Sham 69 classic ‘If The Kids Are United’ and ‘I’m Shipping Up To Boston’ was just the icing on the cake of a fantastic night out.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better atmosphere at a show than the Dropkicks, and its great to see that after all these years, its still that way.
The Living End
Roll On – Second Solution – Hold Up – One Step – How Do We Know – Raise The Alarm – Who’s Gonna Save Us – Prisoner Of Society – E-Boogie – West End Riot
The Lonesome Boatman – Hang ‘Em High – Blood – I Had A Hat – Rebels with a clause – The Boys Are Back – Going Out In Style – Rose tattoo – Sunday Hardcore Matinee – The Fields Of Athenry – As One – Famous For Nothing – The Gangs All Here – Paying My Way – Barroom Hero – Do Or Die – Never Alone – Boys On The Docks – You’ll Never Walk Alone – First Class Loser – Out of Our Heads – Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya – Worker’s Song – If The Kids Are United – I’m Shipping Up To Boston – Until The Next Time