Rose Tattoo (Dropkick Murphys, 8 February, 2018)

I didn’t know anything about the American Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys before May 2013. That’s when they teamed up with Bruce Springsteen on an EP to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, singing Dropkick Murphys’ song “Rose Tattoo”. Rose Tattoo is a very haunting song about love, loyalty and dedication with a typical Irish folk music character. Ever since then, Rose Tattoo has been in rotation on my Spotify. When I found out that Dropkick Murphys (and Flogging Molly) were coming to Gothenburg I knew I had to get a ticket and so I did.

There is not much to say about the opening act, to be honest. Glen Matlock’s (promoted as a former Sex Pistols member) desperate attempts to catch the audience with an acoustic guitar fall flat, not even the Sex Pistols’ classics “God Save the Queen” manages to reach pass the edge of the stage.

Flogging Molly, on the other hand, have the audience in their hands from the first note. Frontman Dave King and the other band members charge full speed – drums, fiddle and accordion on fire. Songs like Drunken Lullabies and If I Ever Leave this World Alive are brilliantly delivered and I find myself dancing energetically, feeling like I’m in the world’s largest Irish pub.

Starting off with a very evocative version of The Lonesome Boatman Dropkick Murphys’ set is extremely tight and filled with energy, the bagpipe and tin whistle giving the music a traditional sound. Multi talanted guitarist/accordion player, Tim Brennan, killing it all night shifting from brilliant guitar solos to playing the accordion with craftsmanship. Encouraged by singer Al Marr the audience goes wild and in front of the stage a mosh pit is formed, people pushing and slamming into each other. The highlights for me: I’m Shipping up to Boston, Rose Tattoo, You’ll Never Walk Alone (cover) and (as encore): the Boys are Back.

I had a really fun evening and I ‘ve added few more songs to my ever-changing Spotify playlist.


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