CONCERT REVIEW: Dropkick Murphys Sell Out in Pittsburgh

By Mark Kolash for

(Photo by Mark Kolash)

(Photo by Mark Kolash)

PITTSBURGH – With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, the Boston band, Dropkick Murphys, do what they do best … perform another sold-out show.

The St. Patrick’s Day Tour 2014, which includes the bands Lucero and Skinny Lister, began in Cleveland, Ohio on Feb. 18.  The tour played sold out shows all over the southern United States before finding itself in Pittsburgh at Stage AE on March 8.

The show opened with Skinny Lister, a British folk-punk band from London, England.  The high-energy set included fan favorites, “John Kanaka” and “Rollin’ Over.” Just to make sure fans were engaged in this performance, Michael Camino (double bass) surfed the crowd.

Lucero, the country-punk band from Memphis, Tenn., hit the stage second and a different party-like atmosphere fell over the crowd. Ben Nichols stepped up to the mic with his drink in hand and commented, “Skinny Lister, Lucero and Dropkick Murphys … not bad for a Saturday night.”

When the venue darkened and “Foggy Dew” by Sinéad O’Connor set in, the diverse crowd waited patiently. Fans then noticed the Dropkick Murphys had replaced traditional backdrops with a newer video projection background.  Interactive . . . yes, but fans had mixed feelings on changing the tradition.

With the familiar sounds of dual guitar, a foot stompin’ bass drum, clapping and chanting fans and the beloved bagpipes, the Dropkick Murphys hit the stage with opening song, “The Boys Are Back.”  Al Barr instantly started interacting with the fans whose energy level found new heights.

Barr led fans in chanting, “The boys are back … the boys are back … the boys are back … and they’re looking for trouble.”  With three symbol crashes from drummer, Matt Kelly, the high-energy show was under way.

Ken Casey, decked out in his Boston Bruins jersey, at one point, just had to rile up the Pittsburgh fans with a bit of good ‘ole sports rivalry smack talk. This, however, was quickly challenged by a “Let’s Go Penguins!” chant.

The 23-song set-list included songs from the Dropkick Murphys’ vast catalog of music.  But it was a “Do or Die” kind of night with “Rose Tattoo” from the latest album “Signed and Sealed in Blood” already being one of those traditional songs from the Dropkick Murphys.

The encore was an additional four songs, which included the ladies’ favorite, “Kiss Me I’m S***faced.” During this song, ladies are invited up on stage, and audience participation is encouraged even more.

After that the guys join the band on stage, and at this point, fans understand who’s important at a Dropkick Murphys show. The experience ended with high-energy old school sounding “Citizen C.I.A.”

The demographics of fans at this show were unique and ranging from ages 7-62 years. There were lifelong fans and a lot of first-timers thanks to the large group of Lucero and Skinny Lister fans who made it to the show.

But this just wasn’t a concert … it was an experience.  Take three bands that are talented in their own genres of music, put them all in a room and it’s “not bad for a Saturday night”

After the show, Ken Casey was found down front with one lucky 7-year-old boy who was sporting a blue Mohawk. Ken had given him an autographed copy of the set-list.  Here it is…

  • The Boys Are Back
  • Never Forget
  • Get Up
  • Black Velvet Band
  • Famous for Nothing
  • The Warrior’s Code
  • Far Away Coast
  • Which Side Are You On?
  • 3rd Man In
  • Finnegan’s Wake
  • Good Rats
  • Barroom Hero
  • Jimmy Collins’ Wake
  • Deeds Not Words
  • Prisoner’s Song
  • Caught in a Jar
  • Fields of Athenry
  • Boys on the Docks
  • Rose Tattoo
  • Flannigan’s Ball
  • Out of Our Heads
  • I’m Shipping Up to Boston
  • Takin’ Care of Business/We’re an American Band/Blitzkrieg Bop


  • Kiss Me, I’m S***faced
  • Skinhead on the MBTA
  • Dirty Deeds
  • Citizen C.I.A.



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