by Brian Nac
Evolution in art and music is greatly overrated. When tracking the history of a band or artist, its often fun (read: easier) to talk about them if said band/artists makes huge shifts in style over their career. But style changes in music does not a reliable live act make. Boston's Dropkick Murphys have been around, in one version or another, since 1996 and they haven't changed the formula which makes them a solid live act. They play punk infused Celtic rock, and they play it damn well. The band fully embodies the "If it aint broke, don't fix it" motto and their fans are grateful.
Pittsburgh was last visited by the Murphys in the summer of 2011, as they headlined the Shamrock and Roll mini festival at the Amphitheater at Station Sqaure, a now defunct venue that, while great for Rib Fests and the like, wasn't exactly the best for live music (the trains that rolled by and the lay out were death to sound). Happily, the indoor portion of Stage AE proved to be the perfect venue for the size and style of a band like The Dropkick Murphys. And, since it was their own show, and not a festival, we got a few more songs on this Wednesday evening in the burgh, including a few new tunes on a soon to be released album.
Even with the high energy punk rock set, and the moshing and circle pits that developed, I'm happy to report that there was nary a single fight or skirmish on the crowded dance floor this night. Dropkick Murphy fans (even the shirtless, sweaty, moshers) know how to have a drunken and rowdy good time, without devolving into a bunch of soccer hooligans. The band even invited the females in the crowd onstage for the encore.