Drop In on Asbury Park
and Kick Out the Jams in New Jersey

A Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Dropkick Murphys dropped into Asbury Park, New Jersey on August 25, 2013 for a foot stomping show at The Stone Pony Summer Stage. It was a pleasant night down the shore and there was a strong turnout for the band. We saw at least one fan in a kilt and others sporting varying shades of green before Sunday's show.

Dropkick Murphys Drop In On Asbury Park, New Jersey
Fans were packed in on the blacktop at the Stone Pony Summer Stage on August 25, 2013.

The Dropkick Murphys are an American, Celtic punk rock band that heralds from Quincy, Massachusetts. Since 1996, they have been blending rebellion with traditional Irish music. Some of their songs were penned for their home state and later used by Boston sports teams. The Dropkick Murphys have had success on the charts and are also known for supporting the working class and union causes.

As it got closer to show time the crowd surged towards the summer stage that was filled with gear, banners of the band's name and some skulls. Lights flashed out into the audience as the Dropkick Murphys came out. Their fans were clapping, jumping and singing along right from the first kick ass note and they remained just as stirred up as the concert came to a close.

The Dropkick Murphys' music was aggressive with elements of hard rock and punk countered by a number of conventional Irish instruments. They were full of energy and their audience was engaged from the start with some crowd surfing over to the stage and tumbling into security.

Their set was fast paced with roaring riffs and band members moving around the stage as they shared vocal responsibilities. The were often at the edge of stage fully interacting with their fans as they played their intense music that throbbed beyond the stage into the audience and out toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Dropkick Murphys Drop In On Asbury Park, New Jersey
Scenes from the Dropkick Murphys concert in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

There were the occasional softer moments with acoustic and Irish instruments leading the way as with the crowd pleasing "Rose Tattoo" which was introduced with the words, "Our special guest Bruce Springsteen (crowd cheers)... will not be here tonight!"

The Dropkick Murphys' sound was unique with songs that blended banjos and bag pipes with brash punk rhythms. Their set was both manic yet musical. Fans were madly enjoying the power of this Irish punk band.

During their set they raffled off a customized surf board for charity and they also took requests that included "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" an angry anthem with animated Irish instruments. During their encore the Dropkick Murphys invited openers the Barroom Heroes to join them. The two groups jammed on a rousing version of The Who's "Baba O' Riley".

Opening for the Dropkick Murphys was the Swingin' Utters ($wingin' Utter$) and Barroom Heroes (named after a Dropkick Murphys' song). Both bands have roots in Irish and punk music for a well matched and ballistic triple billing.

Dropkick Murphys Drop In On Asbury Park, New Jersey
The Stone Pony Summer Stage is an annual tradition on the Jersey shore.

The Barroom Heroes were young but have been opening for the Dropkick Murphys for a number of years. They were a three piece power punk trio who used some distortion in their sound along with gruff vocals to propel their rebellious points.

Swingin' Utters gave a big thanks to the Dropkick Murphys and for all the charity work that they do. Swingin' Utters also had elements of punk such as rapid rhythms with assertive vocals. Their lead singer was animated in his movements and vocal approaches. There were some touches of Irish rock in their tunes along with some quick soaring guitar solos.

It was a full night of music at The Stone Pony, even before the three acts played outside on the summer stage there were musicians inside who had started around five o' clock. The Dropkick Murphys along with their two opening acts kicked it up at The Pony with their high energy Celtic punk rock.

Dropkick Murphys: Ken Casey - bass guitar, lead vocals; Matt Kelly - drums, bodhran, vocals; Al Barr - lead vocals; James Lynch - guitar, vocals; Tim Brennan - guitar, mandolin, accordion, keyboard, vocals; Josh "Scruffy" Wallace - bagpipes, tin whistle; Jeff DaRosa - banjo, bouzouki, guitar, mandolin, accordion, keyboard, piano, harmonica, whistle, vocals

Dropkick Murphys Drop In On Asbury Park, New Jersey
The opening acts for Dropkick Murphys were BarRoom Heroes and Swingin' Utters.

Related Links: For more information on the DROPKICK MURPHYS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Dropkick Murphys | Swingin' Utters | BarRoom Heroes | Stone Pony

(Originally Published on August 28, 2013)




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