Concert Review | Dropkick Murphys host a night for the Irish at heart

***** (5 stars out of 6); January 28 at Store Vega

Boston-based Celtic punk rockers the Dropkick Murphys have performed in Copenhagen numerous times, their latest show being back in 2008, where they played to a packed Store Vega crowd. Saturday saw them re-visit the city, armed with copious doses of Irish folk and straightforward, uncompromising punk rock.

The warm up act Bouncing Souls, although enthusiastic and energetic, never quite managed to capture the attention of the audience.  For a significant portion of the crowd, this was a perfect excuse to knock down a few pints or smoke a cigarette or two. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd, they warmed the arena up, set the mood, and managed to conjure up a significant mosh pit for their catchy single ‘True BelieversÂ’.

After an hour-long intermission, the Dropkick Murphys were ready to take the stage. Darkness fell, and a large black curtain hid the majority of the stage. The Murphys unleashed the melodious folk number ‘The Foggy DewÂ’ as a starter to their show. It sounded like an opening to an epic film of Irish history. The crowd roared spiritedly as the curtains dropped  and the Murphys appeared from the blackness of the stage, playing the bombastic ‘Hang ‘Em HighÂ’. After a number of high-energy tracks that got sweat dripping and feet moving, the Murphys made a pleasant shift to performing a number of acoustic songs. The most well-received acoustic tune was the pub-like anthem ‘Boys on the DocksÂ’, a dedication to bassist/vocalist Ken CaseyÂ’s grandfather.

A return to their  signature distorted sound saw the Murphys roar back to form with anthems such as ‘Peg o´ My HeartÂ’ and ‘Climbing a Chair to BedÂ’. A defining highlight was a cover of ‘The Irish RoverÂ’, a song which got the whole arena jumping with frivolity. The Murphys, as they have done at previous shows, asked all the ladies to join them on stage for ‘Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced‘ — a salute to the ladies and a compensation for the testosterone-packed Vega. The men eventually joined the ladies on stage, creating a sense of beautiful chaos and euphoria towards the set finale, which culminated in a cover of  AC/DCÂ’s ‘TNTÂ’. The Murphys played a solid 90 minutes, the acoustics were top-notch, and the sound was loud and proud. This was a concert that made you wish you were Irish.