Friday, July 20, 2018

Dropkick Murphys At Pacific Amphitheatre (20 July)

by Gary Schwind (writer), Laguna Niguel, July 24, 2008

A review of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Dropkick Murphys show at Pacific Amphitheatre (Orange County Fairgrounds).

I arrived at my seat just as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones banner unfurled and the band began its set. Each member of the band wore mismatched plaid jackets, pants, and ties, and the band jumped right into its set.

Not long into the set, Dicky Barrett pointed to a guy in a pristine white shirt and jeans in the front of the audience and asked him to come up on stage. He said, “You might recognize this guy as a member of the cast of The Hills.” He proceeded to ask the guy where he was from. When the guy said, “OC,” Dicky asserted that the guy was from Newport Beach and then dedicated the song to all the Newport Beach residents in the crowd.

The band played a high-energy set including “Kinder Words,” “Simmer Down,” “Rudie Can’t Fail,” and “Rascal King” among others. Fans of the band danced and sang along to newer songs and old favorites.

The Bosstones closed the show with “The Impression that I Get.” Only this wasn’t just any version of the band’s biggest hit. Dicky introduced the song by saying that they were going to bring out “the ninth Bosstone,” none other than Jimmy Kimmel on bass clarinet. I hadn’t seen the Bosstones in eleven years, but they put on as good a show as I remember and really got the crowd warmed up for the Dropkick Murphys.

This was my first time seeing Dropkick Murphys and I am glad I was there. The band started the set with “For Boston.” That was the beginning of what was an all-out, furiously energetic set that was front-loaded with songs from the latest album: “Famous for Nothing,” “God Willing,” “State of Massachusetts,” “(F)lannigan’s Ball,” among others.

Somewhere in the middle of the set, Ken Casey commented that a lot of people near the stage were holding up Angels hats (after the Angels had just completed a sweet of the Red Sox). He answered by saying that it was a long season, but promised the band wouldn’t do any songs about the Sox or baseball.

On “Dirty Glass,” the band was joined by a guest vocalist. I didn’t quite catch what band she is in, but she did a bang-up job. That was just the beginning of a parade of people onto the stage. For “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced,” the band was joined by a league of women who sang, danced, and provided us with the lone stage wipeout of the evening. When the band was performing the encore (and the last song of the evening), Ken invited some men to come up on stage. That was a bold move, not one I’m sure I would make if I were in a band. The stage became a moshing mass of bodies as the band closed the set. It was a great night of rock and roll at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Kristine Ashton-Magnuson of MSO PR for the outstanding ticket. I was in row L in the orchestra section and it was a great vantage point to witness a great show.

About the Writer

Gary Schwind is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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