The Dropkick Murphys bring their fall tour to a nearly sold-out crowd in Las Vegas with support from Hatebreed and Russ Rankin.
This tour, when announced, was immediately popular due to the bands on the lineup so it is not surprising to see that it is almost sold out tonight. The crowd is packed in for a night of punk and hardcore music and these bands always deliver on their performances so it is understandable to see the crowd arrive early. Up first is Russ Rankin of Good Riddance. He performs a thirty-minute acoustic set that is a nice warm-up for what is about to be unleashed on the stage.After his set, it is now time for Hatebreed. They played their own headlining tour here this summer but their performance is always so good it is not surprising to see the number of Hatebreed shirts in the crowd tonight.
This band really thrives in an environment like this. The stage allows them to be up close with their fans and they feed off their energy. Frontman Jamey Jasta doesn’t stop moving for one minute of the performance. He is all over the stage and it is impressive to see how he doesn’t miss a beat with all the jumping and running he does. His energy is equally matched by the rest of the band. Guitarists Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak command their sides of the stage which helps as the set continues and Jasta starts the traditional game of who’s side is louder with drummer Matt Byrne serving as the judge. Tonight Frank and bassist Chris Beattie’s side wins this contest every time.
The fifteen-song set is intense and filled with crowd favorites like “To the Threshold,” “Live for This,” “Destroy Everything,” “As Diehard As They Come,” “Last Breath,” which is dedicated to Lemmy, and “Perseverance” before closing out with “I Will Be Heard.” The mosh pits are the biggest that have been seen in a long time and they last through the whole set. Their headline show was great but this performance was even better. There is something about the energy they are putting out and the fans feeding off of it. Jasta as always is having an amazing time and he expresses his gratitude to both the fans and the Dropkick Murphys at multiple times during the night. This performance will be hard to follow but the Dropkick Murphys are definitely up to the task.It is easy to see why the Dropkick Murphys are always a fan favorite. The eight guys put on an exciting show every time and there is so much going on with a variety of instruments and performers. From the first notes, singers Ken Casey and Al Barr are on the platform in front of the stage and on the pillars that have been placed at the barricade tonight so they are literally in the crowd and they stay that way for most of the set. The crowd feels like they are part of the Dropkick family and are singing along with every word. The rest of the band matches this intensity and many take time on the front platform as well. James Lynch, Jeff DaRosa, and Kevin Rheault deliver highly energetic performances on the guitars, banjo, and accordion.
The set is different from the last time they played Las Vegas and that is one of the things people appreciate about this band. They always change it up. They open with “The Boys are Back,” “The Fighting 69th” and “The Burden.” One of the other unique aspects of this band is their use of covers in their sets and tonight is no different with covers of “I Fought the Law” by the Crickets and the Cars cover “Just What I Needed,” along with some traditional Irish covers. The eighteen-song set continues with other favorites like “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya,” “(F)lannigan’s Ball,” “The State of Massachusetts” and “The Worker’s Song.”
It would be easy to think the show is over at this point but the three-song encore is where it really gets interesting. They open with “Rose Tattoo” before launching into “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.” About halfway through this song, as is tradition, the band begins allowing the fans to pour onto the stage. As the fans stand there among the band singing and dancing along, they close out the set with “Until the Next Time.” As the band leaves the stage and the fans begin to return to the floor, Casey greets as many of them as he can before leaving as well. It is that feeling, the fun party family feeling, that this band is so good at and that is partly why their fans are so loyal to them.
These bands tonight delivered almost three hours of intense performances and it is easy to see why this show was almost sold out. Both Hatebreed and the Dropkick Murphys delivered unmatched performances. This quite possibly was the best concert of the year in Las Vegas. It will be hard to beat.DROPKICK MURPHYS
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