Dropkick Murphys LIVE in Liverpool! (I got on stage!)

So, those who know me will know that the Dropkick Murphys are one of my all time favourite bands and so to see them again is an opportunity I just can’t pass up. But, and this is a large but, this was no ordinary Dropkick Murphys gig for me, oh no! At the forth time of asking I finally managed to GET ON STAGE with them! This was one of those gigs to remember!!


This time the boys were playing over in Liverpool which is somewhere I always love to visit when I get the chance and is where my brother lives (free places to crash, I think so!!). I got to spend a little time wandering around the city before meeting up with Emily, my brothers lovely girlfriend. I really want to do a post on Liverpool as it is such a great city but I hope to be coming back in the next month or so to properly catch up and re-visit some of my favorite spots around the city and will be taking my SLR too!!

As I mentioned I have see the Dropkick Murphys 4 times, and each time they get better and better, you can see more details on the bands I have see (almost 200) on my Music List and I have a post here from when I saw them in Manchester last year. Dropkick Murphys HMV Ritz, Manchester. Jan 2013.

Support:

Blood Or Whiskey

I hadn’t heard of Blood or Whiskey before seeing them but I think it’s fair to say you can quite easily guess the genre of their music by their name!! They were a real old school Irish/ Celtic Punk band and put on a really genuine and enjoyable gig. They also had a real connection with Liverpool and dedicated one of their songs to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster which I thought was a nice touch. There was a real energy and life to their performance which really got the crowd going.

blood or whiskey, Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

The Bots:

The Bots again were an unknown quantity to me and I have to say I was somewhat surprised when they started playing. They were indeed brilliant, musically gifted on a level much above what I expected to see tonight, creative and experimental too, just a great musical experience. Having said that I found their inclusion in this line up a little strange as they felt slightly out of sync with the Celtic punk vibe that Blood or Whiskey had built up and I felt it took the crowd a little while to warm to them. Overall though it is great to see some variety and I would recommend seeing them live, the main guitarist and singer is just a ball of energy and you get the feeling a lot of the set is improvised too.

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes, the bots

the bots, Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

The main Act:

The Dropkick Murphys!!

Well, this is what we had been waiting all this time for, the crowd had been chanting “Let’s go Murphys” for a good 10 minutes, I could feel the heat and crush beginning to build as every second went by until the lights went down and on came “The Foggy Dew”, instantly giving me goosebumps despite the already sweltering atmosphere.

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

I was actually at the gig on my own which to be fair is not all that strange for me given that I usually come to them with friends (and end up wandering off)!! The waiting had been a little tedious on my own to be honest but the advantage is that I can get myself into a great viewing space with no one to complain we are getting a little too close to the action (you know who you are!). For me it’s all about getting as close as I can and as involved as I can, I’ve been to nearly 200 gigs so far so I can handle the crush and pits!! I managed to bag a place one from the barrier and was pretty happy with that to be fair, but as soon as the band came on the girl in front of me (clearly not a rail veteran!) gave into the crush and moved aside, letting me on to the rail without even trying!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

So there I was, right at the front with a great view of one of my favourite bands! Last time around I had managed to get a spot on the rail after they let a load of people on stage during the encore… this got me thinking that maybe this was my night! One of the things I love about these smaller venues is how close you can get. I have been on the rail at big arena gigs and festivals and seriously you are still miles away from the band, but here, you could almost reach over and touch them!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Another thing which I love about Dropkick Murphys gigs is how involved Al gets with the crowd, he came over many times and stood right on the edge of the stage where I was and looked right at us (only once I was on stage did I fully realise just how well they can actually see you down there too). He also comes down the front and along the barrier quite often, meaning, yeah, I got to touch him a few times!! But it’s just really cool that they like to make you feel involved and connected to the band and the show, this is what makes this types of show feel so much more real than arena gigs on massive stages!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

One of the things about Dropkick Murphys is that they are a really down to earth band and I think that is one reason their gigs are always so good. They they are there to put on great show, no gimmicks or props, just putting their all into their music and appreciating their fans. They didn’t disappoint at all either, they came out with a good mixture of classics and newer material as well as some great covers. The atmosphere was crazy too, just absolutely wild, the room was packed full and everyone was jumping around and getting involved. The heat in the place was quite intense too, you could see the walls covered in condensation, but water was being passed around and people were looking out for each other in the true spirit of punk!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

And then, I got picked to go up on stage…

So after a brilliant gig and having thoroughly enjoyed myself I was preparing myself for one last expulsion of energy for the encore and had got so swept up that I had forgotten about this Dropkick Murphys tradition! Every gig they let up a load of girls from the barrier for the encore and then a little while in they let up some dudes too just to make it fair!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Well, I was one of those lucky ones! Shorty asked me the day after if I was nervous about being on stage with them and in front of all those people, but weirdly I wasn’t at all. I just got the tap on my shoulder and was pointed towards the stage and before I knew it I was up without hesitation. I don’t even know how I got over the barrier (which for me is shoulder height), I think I was that eager I did  some form of kangaroo hop from barrier straight to stage!!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Once I was up there I think I was in a slight state of shock, I’d turn around and Ken Casey would be stood next to me with his bass, like, “wwwhhhaaaattttt!” He even grabbed my hand to sing the chorus to “Kiss me, I’m shitfaced”, to which I obliged and gave him a peck on the cheek. I went around hi-fiving the band and of course nabbing some guitar picks!! What is cool is there are so many other people on stage too that you don’t feel singled out or scared! Everyone is just jumping around, hugging and singing, it’s one of the single most cool experiences of my life! I mean, who gets to say they have been on stage with their favourite band!?

Dropkick Murphys fans that’s who!!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
So that’s what it looks like from up there!
 

So, what an absolutely amazing gig and crazy experience too. I will be certain to make sure I get on the barrier again next time I have the privilege to see them live. I have seen some great bands and gigs over the past few years, light shows and fire works etc, and those are mind blowing too, but sometimes it’s the simplest things which make the best gigs. Great music, great people and a great atmosphere! Ken even stuck around once the gig was over to meet and take photos with the people who got on stage.

Scroll down for more photos and a video from the stage as well as the setlist.

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
Stage Selfie!
 
Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
One of the best photos I have taken!
Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
Me and Ken Casey!!

 

 

 
Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
guitar picks, bass picks, Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
Picks I picked up on stage!
 

Here is a couple of instagram photos I found with me in them!

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
I’m in the green taking a photo! (Next to the topless guy)

 

Dropkick murphys, liverpool, ken casey, al barr, on stage, meeting band, gig, punk, celtic punk, boston, getting on stage with the dropkick murphys, bands, live music, atmosphere, close, barrier, rail, front row, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, Josh "Scruffy" Wallace, Jeff DaRosa, banjos, irish music, bagpipes,
 
 

Here is a video I took whilst onstage too!

Here is the setlist:

The Boys Are Back
Citizen C.I.A.
Black Velvet Band
Don’t Tear Us Apart
Going Out in Style
Which Side Are You On? (The Almanac Singers cover)
Prisoner’s Song
The Gauntlet
The Wild Rover (traditional cover)
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
The Walking Dead
Jimmy Collins’ Wake
Vengeance (Nipple Erectors cover)
Shattered
Fields of Athenry
Tomorrow’s Industry
Get Up
Forever
Worker’s Song
Rose Tattoo
The Irish Rover (traditional cover)
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (AC/DC cover)
I’m Shipping Up to Boston

Encore: ( When I was on stage!!)
Out of Our Heads
Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced
Skinhead on the MBTA
Boys on the Docks

Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.