Images: Dropkick Murphys, Blood Or Whiskey, Bryan McPherson November 8, 2014 at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

Boston’s Dropkick Murphys returned to a packed Las Vegas crowd at the Brooklyn Bowl on Nov. 8.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see them again, after being disappointed with their song selection at the last show I attended, but as if by magic, or as if they read my last review, this show couldn’t have pleased me more.

As is tradition, they kicked off the show with “For Boston,” then immediately lead into four straight songs from The Meanest of Times, which is probably my favorite record of theirs.  “Famous for Nothing,” “The State of Massachusetts,” “Flannigan’s Ball” and “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya” all got the extremely intoxicated crowd moving (or at least swaying).  The newest album Signed and Sealed in Blood still got a lot of play time, but the setlist felt more to me like the greatest hits, rather than a tour supporting a single album.

After a quick break, the band finished up the set with “The Boys Are Back,” then invited all the ladies up to the stage for “Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced,” all the dudes up for “Skinhead on the MBTA,” and a medley of “Takin’ Care of Business/We’re an American Band/Blitzkrieg Bop.”  Unfortunately “Barroom Hero” looks like it got cut from their set-list for time, which is the song that introduced me to the band on the first Give ‘Em the Boot compilation record, but I can’t really complain considering how great the rest of the set was.  Maybe next time they can play that, and “Dirty Glass” for me.

Opening the show were true Irish punk rockers Blood or Whiskey.  I’m pretty unfamiliar with the band, but I seemed to be in the minority because most the crowd were dancing and singing to “Seanie O’ Keefe,” and “King of the Fairies.”  There was a pretty large circle pit for the band, especially during sing-along “They Say No!”

Also opening was Boston folk-rocker Bryan McPherson, who recently made headlines when Disney gave him the boot from this tour’s stop in Anaheim due to his lyrical content. Despite being the first opener of the night, the crowd was already quite full when he started, and really seemed to enjoy his blue-collar acoustic songs. McPherson has an earnest, Bob Dylan quality to his songwriting and was quickly able to win over a crowd that came out specifically to hear louder, faster music.

-Aaron Mattern | https://www.flickr.com/photos/akmofoto/

Dropkick Murphys setlist:

For Boston
Famous for Nothing
The State of Massachusetts
(F)lannigan’s Ball
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Working (Cock Sparrer cover)
The Gang’s All Here
The Walking Dead
Prisoner’s Song
Do or Die
Jimmy Collins’ Wake
Going Out in Style
The Warrior’s Code
Black Velvet Band
Cruel
Captain Kelly’s Kitchen
Out of Our Heads
Rose Tattoo
I’m Shipping Up to Boston
Worker’s Song

Encore:
The Boys Are Back
Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced
Skinhead on the MBTA
Takin’ Care of Business / We’re An American Band / Blitzkrieg Bop

About the author  ⁄ Aaron Mattern

I like tacos, pictures of cats, and sleeping.