Saturday, 11 May 2013

Dropkick Murphys at Club Nokia, LA

To be honest I wasn’t sure whether Boston boys, Dropkick Murphys, would play their gig at Club Nokia in LA last month, as it was almost immediately after the terrible events that occurred at the city’s marathon. But play they did, so you have to give them credit for that.

Club Nokia is in the same complex as the Staples Center and is a nice size with good acoustics (about 2,300 capacity) and pretty good views from wherever you stand.

My review of the gig is a bit mixed, but then so is my view of the band. I’m not familiar with much of their back catalogue and can’t claim to be their biggest fan, but I do love Shipping up to Boston and any songs in that vein – the combination of traditional Celtic sound and angry punk is a winner in my book, and I was sure it would translate amazingly live.

The band do have another side to their style which is a tad cheesey for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just that some songs are not to my personal taste. Unfortunately the cheesey side seemed to be reflected in the audience – a crowd aptly described by my better half as ‘Dads let out for the night’. There were indeed a lot of middle aged men performing knee bends and enthusiastically pointing at the stage (‘Dad dancing’ was given a name for a reason people.)

Dropkick Murphys are talented musicians and let’s be honest, bagpipes are always going to make you smile. As predicted I liked the songs I expected to (ditto for the ones I didn’t), but really and truly I was there for one song…. Shipping up to Boston. So when the first notes finally filled the venue at the end of the night I was a happy lady. This is what I’d been waiting for. The music played, the crowd sung, and… the band didn’t. They let the crowd sing. The whole bloody song.

By now I was hoping I could claim to have seen a truly classic song played live. Instead, all I can claim is that I have heard Shipping up to Boston live, but I travelled 5,500 miles to hear it sung not by the band, but by a room full of knee-bending Dads. Marvelous.

I’ll leave you with a little video of a live performance where the band did sing...

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