Dropkick Murphys, Young Offenders @ HQ Complex, Adelaide 10/12/2018

The Good Things festival is the latest festival to hit the East Coast of Australia and featured a jam packed line-up of all things punk and hardcore. The initial disappointment of Adelaide being left off the tour schedule was quickly eroded with the announcement of two massive sideshows coming to town, those being The Offspring and Dropkick Murphys. The Offspring absolutely smoked last week at Thebby and if the Dropkick Murphy’s could put on even half as good a show we were in for a cracker. And boy did they deliver!!

Like The Offspring the week before, DKM tickets were hot property. Which was awesome to see as this isn’t always the case in Adelaide, particularly on a Monday night and competing with Twenty One Pilots who were playing just down the road (although I suspect there isn’t a great deal of cross-over). By the time the boys hit the stage, HQ was chock-a-block and interestingly it was an noticeably older crowd. Not often do I feel like one of the younger ones in the room, but tonight I did, Ken Casey even jokingly asked if this was a 50+ show.

Opening the show was Adelaide’s own Young Offenders. Perhaps a little disappointing given the number of international acts on the Good Things festival that they didn’t bring another one along to share the support duties, but Young Offenders acquitted themselves really well. They showcase great versatility and seamlessly shifted their style, from boppy indie rock and ska through to heavy grunge or punk. They went from sounding like the Arctic Monkeys through to Millencolin or even The Clash. Really interesting sound and definitely a group to keep an eye on.

Then it was time, the stage was cleared, the lights went out and an eerie haze took over as Irish folk music filled the venue. As the “Lets Go Murphy’s” chant reached fever pitch the eight-piece fired onto the stage and ripped into The Boys are Back, in doing so whipping the crowd into a frenzy. A great opening track, but I couldn’t help but sing “the boys are back for Friday night footy”…

One of the advantages of shows at HQ (perhaps the only) is the big screen behind the stage which was used brilliantly throughout the show with video and media that really added to the visual show.

The set was littered with hits including Famous For Nothing, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya, The State Of Massachusetts and Barroom Hero which had Ken tossing the mic into the crowd for punters to sing along.

With two singers, four guitarists, a drummer and Lee “no nickname” Forshner on the pipes it’s a musical feast and the energy they bring is fantastic. The crowd couldn’t get enough, as much as the band could push out, they were getting it back ten fold.

Although a number of personnel changes over the years Ken and Al Barr on vocals have been a constant, they duel brilliantly and really get the front row involved. I reckon Al has lost about 10 kegs since I last saw the Murphy’s and with his brood cap, if you added a moustache he’d be a great fill in for Arthur Shelby from Peaky Blinders.

Citizen C.I.A. was another crowd favourite, before responding to a punters request for Tessie, their ode to the Red Sox which Ken was happy to point out had won the World Series and that the Sox were 4-0 when the Murphys had been invited to play, before closing out the set with Rose Tattoo and Out of Our Heads.

The boys returned for a massive sing-along to I’m Shipping Up To Boston and finished the night with Meet Again and allowing for a stage invasion which had half the crowd on stage singing along.

Although they didn’t play Rocky Road to Dublin… again… it was a bloody ripper show, well supported by an equally ripper crowd. Nights like tonight are important to keep bands coming back and keeping Adelaide on the tour schedule.

Live Review By Tim Nicholas

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