Noise 101: Dropkick Murphys nail Calgary performance
Diehard fans rock out at highly-anticipated show
The Dropkick Murphys are an American Celtic punk band that the city of Calgary was eager to witness.
On Sept. 26, the MacEwan Ballroom, at the University of Calgary, drew in fanatics of all ages. The beer gardens were filled with sticky puddles, countless empties and featured a perfect view of the stage. Shouts of, “Dropkick Murphys fucking rule!” and “They are nailing it!” echoed throughout the room.
Apparently, the band nails it wherever and whenever they perform, according to 30-year-old Scott Holgen from Toronto, who saw them there five years ago.
“It was crazy, but this is intense! This is great! We got caught up in the mosh pit for 20 minutes. I was loving it!”
Which was the same for the young adults with bandanas and mohawks pushing their way to the mosh pit, which started as soon as the band walked into view.
The mohawks were joined with drunken middle-aged ladies that would continuously sway into their gentlemen friends, the ten-year-olds on their dad’s shoulders yelling every lyric, the guy dancing ceaselessly with his crutches — the vast majority flaunting their Dropkick Murphys t-shirts or flags.
“Not even the side stage is safe,” laughs Aman Gill, after lead vocalist Ken Casey announces “Tessie,” by shouting to the crowd, “We had to go sit through a Calgary Flames preseason game, so the least you could do is give us three minutes of your time and let us play a song about baseball!”
The bagpipes, flute and accordion ignited the stage as smoke puffs came up from the throng, while the crowd surfers were constantly being pulled by the security guards.
But they couldn’t pull Holgen out of the crowd, he tells The Reflector.
“Hell no they can’t keep me out of there! I just took my shirt off so I was slippery!”
Tyler Middleton and Chris Lynch from X92.9 Calgary’s Alternative were also present at the show — as present as they could be with the tallboy cans that they were double fisting.
But Lynch’s screaming version of “I’m Shipping Out to Boston,” and Middleton claiming he was a bigger fan of the band than Lynch, was proof that the two were among the fan base.
“They are not the most creative lyricists or songwriters of all time, but definitely very creative partiers that just want to make sure you have a good time,” explains Middleton.
Which is what they did to the very end of the show, as they came out for their encore with several more songs and covers, including, “Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced,” “Taking Care of Business” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
The band was even letting the crowd join them, until there was at least 30 fans rocking out on stage for the encore, with the signs, ‘Put your camera away and enjoy the moment,’ and ‘Only a jackass takes selfies on stage,’ flashing on the screen.
“I don’t think they can do wrong,” says Middleton. “They could try to be assholes and be as shitty as they want and still be fantastic.”