Dropkick Murphys w/ HorrorPops
September 25, 2007
Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale
Photos by Jamie Puntumkhul
Better than: Three accidental fists to the face due to an ardently chanted Oi! trinity.
The Review: I have somewhat of an obsession with that span of time between an opening band’s wasted plea to stick around for the headlining band and that headliner’s first vibrating, pluck of a bass. Not because I’m OCD or have some kind of nerdy fascination with space, time or continuums, but because I’m a cynic. After years of attending shows and sometimes waiting an entire hour (or more) to see an uninspiring performance, I’ve convinced myself that if a band takes more than 30 minutes between sets to start a show they’re either a) Too drunk to remember they’re supposed to be playing a gig, b) Shaving their balls d) Shaving their mom’s balls, because shitfaces with absolutely no regard for their fans HAVE to have moms with balls. Big, saggy, hairy balls.
But, being that I’ve never been in a band or even backstage pre-show, I really have no idea what goes on before a band sets foot onstage. I just know I don’t like to wait, and neither did the Fire-Marshall’s-nightmare of a crowd present at Revolution Tuesday night.
The pit during DKM's set
Towards the end of Denmark’s pop punk, psychobilly band, the HorrorPops’ set – which dazzled the eyes with two choreographed burlesque dancers and vocalist Patricia Day’s colorfully embellished upright bass – you could feel the audience’s restless need for a dropkick fix. Dropkick Murphy fans started sardine-canning their way between HorrorPops’ Halloween-loving fans during one of their final songs, “Walk Like a Zombie”, including myself. Which I was doing pretty unsuccessfully until a spunky, septum-pierced HorrorPop fan noticed I was tip-toeing around the guy next to her in order to catch a glimpse of the show. “Hey, move over!” she said in all her punk rock glory, providing me a spot against the second-floor railing of Revolution’s interior. Below a small mosh pit was brewing, resembling a school of bustling guppies fighting over a few flecks of food.
“Let’s go Murphys!” the audience immediately chanted with the closing of the curtain, making one feel -- with the exception of the red suspenders and kilts -- that they were at a Red Sox game rather than a show. The railing I was clutching on to began to shake and a pre-show condom balloon bopped over the lower-level crowd that insistently kept rushing the stage. Even Revolution’s often-jaded security looked excited, playfully shoving one another as they attentively guided crowd surfers from hundreds of hands to the refuge of the ground.
The Dropkick Murphys soon proved devotion to their fans, being that a mere 25 minutes later, the curtain opened. The crowd screeched to a ear-deafening tone, shirts were yanked off backs, and the pit evolved from guppies into mindless, flesh-eating piranhas, pulverizing every beer, lit cigarette, and random shoes that came flying into their path. And DKM made sure to kept the rowdiness alive with their Celtic brand of oi! interwoven with accordions, keyboards, bagpipes, and whistles which polishes off their signature hardcore sound that was distilled in the basement of a friend’s barbershop.
Opening with songs like the re-worked Boston Red Sox anthem, “Tessie”, this Irish-American band demanded the crowd scream, clap, and shout “1, 2, 3, 4!” -- which the audience did, like dedicated disciples. The vibe was intense and the crowd was so dense, that just a few songs in, during “Warrior’s Code,” (the band’s ode to Massachusetts' boxer, Micky Ward) you could feel the beads of sweat dripping down your spine, even if you were standing completely still. The boys from Boston also kept the audience stomping with new tunes like “State of Massachusetts” bakery-fresh off of their latest and sixth album The Meanest of Times which was released just a few days ago on September 18th, the lyrics to which many of the people in the audience already had memorized. A good hour and a half later, they mellowed out the show with a heartfelt dedication to the troops in Iraq with “Forever” in which the crowd went old-school, opting for lighters, rather than cell phones, to speckle the crowd.
Once everyone in attendance was fully drenched in sweat or beer, DKM topped off their set with the charmingly-titled, “Kiss Me, I'm Shit-faced” in which the gracious band invited a good chunk of the audience onstage to dance, sing along, and of course, to sloppily swab spit. -- Elyse Wanshel
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Personal Bias: I haven’t really been the biggest fan of punk since my days in high school, but, found myself enjoying this show. Or the audience, at least.
Random Detail: Ironically, all of this punk-rock action occurred underneath a large disco ball. And although disco may be dead, punk rock is still very much alive. In Ft. Lauderdale, at least.
By the way: If that turd that claimed to be from 105.9 is reading this, you owe me a beer.