The Dropkick Murphys’ set during Weekend 1 of Coachella seemed … off. The performance by the Boston-area band seemed cut in half, and the band only played a string of songs off their two most-recent albums.
Of course, a lot has happened in the week since that performance.
Dropkick Murphys have always had a soft spot for their hometown and have never held back in expressing their love for their city.
The Weekend 2 appearance of Dropkick Murphys, of course, came a day after the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. As the world now knows, he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, allegedly planted two bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, and killed one police officer.
The Dropkick Murphys’ style of including Celtic music in their punk-rock sound has always made them a popular live act around the world. The band has always included their hometown of Boston as a theme in their music, and even recorded the song “Tessie” for the Boston Red Sox. They also play a series of shows throughout various venues in the city on St. Patrick’s Day every year.
As one of the darkest weeks in Boston’s history unfolded, the band again did their hometown proud, raising more than $60,000 this week with a collector’s edition T-shirt they sold via their website for victims of the bombing.
The band’s intro music—The Chieftains’ “The Foggy Dew,” featuring Sinead O’Connor on vocals—played before the band took the stage earlier today. The band’s road crew struggled to secure a flag featuring the seal of the city of Boston, and they eventually took down due to technical problems. The band opened up the set with “For Boston,” the first song off their 2001 album Sing Loud, Sing Proud. The large crowd that gathered at the main stage screamed the lyrics back to the band.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their support for our hometown of Boston,” said Ken Casey, bassist and vocalist of Dropkick Murphys. Casey and lead vocalist Al Barr traded the lead vocals on several songs.
The crowd was energetic, even in the hot sun, breaking out into mosh pits and crowd-surfing. (See the photo gallery below) The band asked people to “put their arms around their neighbor and do an Irish jig,” the crowd obeyed, despite the blistering heat.
Al Barr ran down to the crowd level and stood on the security fence to sing during many of the band’s songs.
Dropkick Murphys played several of their fast-paced Celtic/punk rock songs, but they also played some of their sentimental ballads, including the song “Rose Tattoo” from their new album, Signed and Sealed in Blood. Dropkick Murphys were joined by The Pogues’ accordion player James Fearnley last week; this week, the crowd was treated to Gordon Gano from Violent Femmes, who followed Dropkick Murphys on the main stage. Gano played the fiddle on “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen.”
The band closed their memorable set at Coachella Weekend 2 with “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” after stating that they were happy to be headed home to be with their families.
Have a safe journey home, boys. You did your city proud at Coachella.