Date: Tuesday 23rd April 2019
Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds
Supports: Grade 2, The Devil Makes 3
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Starting the night off with some fast and hard punk were Grade 2. Showcasing two new tracks in ‘Dover St’ and ‘Graveyard Island’ which really gave an idea where the band will be heading with their new album. Credit has to be given to their drummer who went nonstop throughout the entire set. Grade 2 worked well with dual vocals to keep the dynamic of the set with the group switching between mic’s throughout. Everyone was putting in 110% and it was great to see the crowd fill up through their set to enjoy the new punk rock on offer! Finishing with older hits like procrastination had the crowd dancing along and banging their heads which can only be a sign of good things to come. Keeping an eye out for when their album releases
Next band up were The Devil Makes Three with a change of style coming out with a bluegrass/southern rock style. This really showed the diversity of genres that is covered by the Dropkick Murphys. They broke out not only the banjos but also a double bass to really compliment their style musically. Whilst this wansn’t to my personal musical taste it was clear to see that the rest of the crowd were digging it with with dancing and clapping along all the way through. A nice cover of Black Sabbath‘s ‘War Pigs’ broke the set up nicely just as things were starting to wain off and helped to keep the crowd fully involved until the end. With great musicianship shown across the band it was clear that everyone was in sync and the smiles across their faces made it very clear they were enjoying themselves whilst warming up for tonight’s main event the Dropkick Murphys.
Starting out behind a huge curtain with just strings playing built the hype up perfectly for the Dropkick Murphys before the curtain dropped for all hell to break loose. Smashing their way through ‘The Boys Are Back’s really set the tone that tonight was about one band only. The crowd were fully engaged so much so that one fan was pulled on stage to sing through ‘Blood’ with the band which went surprisingly well. Switching between the Celtic punk style they are so famous for and a more standard punk style worked perfectly for the band and they blended the two with ease really showing why they are one of the most well known bands in the genre. With a monster setlist of over 20 songs some may have been concerned that it might drag towards the middle but standout tracks such as ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya’ and ‘Time To Go’ really showed off the entire band working perfectly in sync and the energy that was coming off the stage was very infectious with the whole crowd dancing along.
By the time the encore rolled around it was clear that this part was ending in style and as the accordian rang out to the tune of ‘Shipping Up To Boston’ the entire Academy shifted up into an extra gear. Moving through ‘Until Next Time’ felt very fitting for the encore before finishing with their huge track ‘Rose Tattoo’. Finishing with the carnage of a packed stage from audience members who had been chosen to come up a ton of crowd surfers, huge singalongs and massive confetti cannons was certainly the most appropriate way for them to sign off.
With an impeccable show it really was a spectacle to see them play live and given the many years of experience they have it’s no surprise that they’ve kept going through all these years!