Celtic punk rock icons Dropkick Murphys brought their 2019 Fall American Tour to the Brooklyn Bowl and brought along a couple of their friends, Hatebreed and Russ Rankin of Good Riddance. The line out front of the venue started forming two hours before they opened the doors, and the sea of green shirts were everywhere as the horde of fans made their way into the building for the anticipated show.
Russ Rankin performed a thirty minute acoustic set to start off the night, and was quite a contrast to the high energy that Dropkick and Hatebreed bring to the stage. The set was a good kick off for the night as the fans continued to pour into the nearly sold out show.
The lights dimmed and the the song "Bad Boys" played over the sound system, and the roar of the crowd could be heard throughout the expansive venue. Hatebreed's members slowly filtered on to the stage, and then all you could hear was the crunching guitar riffs of “To The Threshold” as Jamey Jasta came out from behind the stage singing “This is the sound of the lost, beaten and broken”, and the entire venue exploded into one huge mosh pit with fans flying everywhere as it seemed to suck anybody close to it. Onstage Jamey screamed, “front to back, side to side” encouraging fans to let loose and go crazy. The band did not let up even for one second, and played one crowd punishing song to another. Jamey is a master frontman who really knows how to control his crowd, and they did exactly as he told them to do, as the pit got bigger, and the crowd more wild as the show went on. The energy was off the charts, and the fans screamed for more after each and every song. Between songs Jamey told the fans that when they got the call from Dropkick to come out and tour with them, he said “when Dropkick Murphys ask you to go on tour with them there is only one correct answer, and that's FUCK YES!" Hatebreed's set lasted around one hour and left the fans wanting for more, and should go down as one of the most intense performances in Brooklyn Bowl this year.
The Dropkick Murphys brought a huge banner that graced the entire back of the stage, and on the upper left of the stage the lights illuminated a bagpipe player as the band started playing the opening song “The Boys Are Back”. Singers Al Barr and Ken Casey came racing out onstage and caught everyone by surprise as they leaped offstage and into the barricade to get to the crowd. They held the mics out over the crowd encouraging everyone to join them and sing along, as they raced back and forth onstage, and then off again. Dropkick Murphys is celtic punk band and had a full eight musicians onstage, with a two tiered setup with the drummer and bagpipe player on top tier, and the guitar players and singers on the bottom half, and Casey and Barr out front and center. They stopped the frantic pace for a moment to play homage to the Boston based band The Cars and recently deceased singer Ric Ocasek, for a cover of “Just What I Needed”, and also played a great version of the song “I Fought the Law” that had the crowd singing along. Another touching moment was “Don’t Tear Us Apart”, a tribute to the Boston Marathon Victims, to which they told the audience “We know that you also went through a horrible tragedy and we feel your pain”. Dropkick has donated $300,000 to the Boston marathon bombing victims, and Bruce Springsteen even helped by re-recording their song “Rose Tattoo” with them.
The crowd was noticeably calmer during the Dropkick set, with just a fraction of the mosh pit that Hatebreed had, but a more rowdy sing-a-long vibe. The band ended their set with “Going Out In Style” and exited the stage, but came back out after a brief break and played the song “Rose Tattoo” and followed that up with “Shipping Out To Boston”, as once again the sound of bagpipes filled the air, and the band brought up as many people from the crowd onstage as they could. The stage was filled with singing and dancing as the band merged with the fans onstage for the final song “Until next Time”, and it was hard to even see the band, there had to be nearly 100 people onstage at this point. As the song ended, members of the band stayed onstage and talked and took photos and became one with the fans. It is easy to see why this band sells out venues all over when they tour, they might be the most fan friendly band I have ever seen.
Dropkick Murphys photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Hatebreed photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Russ Rankin photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos