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Dropkick Murphys – Rock city, Nottingham – 26th June 2017

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Dropkick Murphys are known as a fantastic live band, so being the support act for their tour is something that could be a daunting prospect for many bands – it takes a great live band to open for the Dropkick Murphys and to go down well.  Happily tonight’s support is The Living End, a three-piece from Melbourne, Australia and they are certainly more than up to the job of kicking off tonight’s show.
With a drummer, a double bass player and a guitarist/singer they put in a fantastic show full of great songs and they really go down well with the crowd – and crowd is the right word as the venue was almost full before they even went on stage.  There aren’t many bands who can warm up a Drokick Murphys crowd as well as these guys did.  A really nice bit was the fact that rather than the usual 20-30 minutes support bands seem to get at a lot of gigs, The Living End were given a full hour for their set, giving them plenty of time to really impress the crowd.  This was my first time seeing them and they certainly impressed me – a great set from a band I hope to see again before too long.

After a quick set change it was time for Dropkick Murphys, and right from the start they delivered a high energy set. By the second song, “The boys are back” Al Barr was off the stage and at the barrier singing and getting the crowd to sing too – and the crowd were certainly up for singing along, not just when the microphone was near them – the whole place was singing.
While some bands spend half the show talking to the crowd between songs, Dropkick Murphys do almost the opposite, blasting through 8 or 9 songs at a time between talking briefly to the crowd.  That meant there was no drop in energy levels during the show.
At one point early in the show Al Barr spotted that while a banjo was being played on stage, a fan was playing air banjo and getting all the finger work spot on, so he complimented the fan and said they’d get him up on stage later to do a song or two with them.  True to his word, for the last three songs he got the fan up on stage and got him to play mandolin for those three songs.  He did a great job of it and looked to be really enjoying his night.  A really nice touch from the band  to make a fan’s night truly special.
The energy levels were high on stage with the band all constantly moving around the stage as they played, and they were just as high in the audience with people bouncing up and down, dancing and generally enjoying the show.

Dropkick Murphys may have come to fame for “I’m shipping up to Boston”, but they’re far more than that one song – as tonight shows, they’ve got a great catalogue of songs.  Those songs are all great party songs and that means that the live shows are a real fun experience.  Ending the night with fans on stage for “Until the next time” was a great way to close the show.

A fantastic performance from both bands.

The Lonesome Boatman
The Boys Are Back
Hang ‘Em High
Blood
I Had a Hat
Rebels with a Cause
The State of Massachusetts
Famous for Nothing
Going Out in Style
Rose Tattoo
Sunday Hardcore Matinee
The Fields of Athenry
Paying My Way
Here Comes the Night
Sandlot
‘Do or Die’ Medley
Barroom Hero
Do or Die
Never Alone
Boys on the Docks
You’ll Never Walk Alone
First Class Loser
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Out of Our Heads
Worker’s Song

If the Kids Are United
I’m Shipping Up to Boston
Until the Next Time

Ant May
I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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