St. Patrick’s Day. The holiest of days, one of the most beloved holidays in the city of Boston, and a day that personally, I enjoy more than even my birthday. The city turns Irish for a whole weekend, the streets are a sea of green and
bars are overflowing with patrons chomping at the bit for Guinness, Jameson and Irish Car Bombs.
I can only imagine what the bartenders at the House of Blues had to deal with for the past three nights during one of Boston’s best St. Patrick’s Day traditions: the appearance of the Dropkick Murphys.I didn’t actually plan on attending any of the three nights they were scheduled to play at the House of Blues, but on Wednesday March 15th I found myself down at Cask N’ Flagon meeting some friends for dinner; Kelly and John were celebrating their fifth year wedding anniversary and before I knew it, a ticket was in my hand, and I was a really happy third wheel.
We arrived early and managed to secure ourselves a spot in front of a railing with a ledge, perfect for beverage holding. As absurd as beverage prices are at the House of Blues, I slapped down the plastic and we continued our more than moderately paced alcohol consumption. I ran into a few friends, including two guys visiting from Detroit that I had met the night before at a bar in Allston.
They wanted to experience St. Patrick’s Day in Boston and what better way to do that but at a Dropkick show?
They scoffed at our choice of beverage, having never heard of Narragansett beer until their trip to Boston. That shit’s made on honor and sold on merit! Kelly pointed out that she would “be damned if I let two guys from Detroit shame the name of Narragansett beer like it was Pabst Blue Ribbon or something!” They might have been right, I had actually never willingly consumed a Narragansett beer until that night, and was only defending its honor because we had gone to college next to Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Shoddy beer aside, the show was amazing. Opening bands The Parkinton Sisters, Off With Their Heads and Against Me! Played fantastic sets and three hours after doors opened, Dropkick Murphys finally took the stage. I have never seen a happier bunch of fans, and besides one girl informing us that we were “in her personal space” (honey, we’re at a concert, the whole room is in each other’s personal space), the whole crowd radiated a sense of comradery and Boston pride. The whole crowd was even held captive for a moment as a single guy quietly walked on stage and asked his girlfriend to marry him.
Epic win dude, there’s no way she would say no in front of all those people!
As usual, the stage was rushed during “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced”, and while I was able to boost Kelly up over the barrier unfortunately that’s about as far as we made it. I returned to the bar after the show, smiling and willing to face my bar tab. Forty eight dollars, not terrible. Apparently the guy standing next to me in line didn’t think so either, because he learned over and snatched it out of my hand.
“Hey,” he said. “I’m paying your tab.”
He handed the bartender sixty dollars and winked at me and walked away, leaving me with my jaw on the floor. It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.
Dropkick Murphys played at the House of Blues March 16th-18th, and on their last night they were joined by Bruce Springsteen during “Peg O’ My Heart”, “Badlands” and “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”. They played one last show Sunday, March 20th at the Paradise Rock Club.