Dropkick Murphys get Live at the Marquee off to perfect start

Live at the Marquee got off to a cracking start last night thanks to the ever-infectious intensity of Celtic punks Dropkick Murphys.

Dropkick Murphys get Live at the Marquee off to perfect start

Bursting onto the stage with their trademark devil-may-care attitude, the group flung straight into a toe-tappingly-good rendition of ‘The Boys are Back’.

Within the first few mosh- inducing beats, the crowd was hooked. Even at that early stage they could tell they were in for a treat. And why wouldn’t they be? Dropkick Murphy’s are known for their loud, high-octane shows — perfect to open this year’s Live at the Marquee festival.

Bassist and vocalist Ken Casey wasn’t long in telling the crowd what’s what, encouraging them to get the pit going and yelling “we’re gonna make this the best night of your lives!”

Veterans of the live music scene, the American-based band has been gigging together since the 1990s.

Over the next quarter of a century, Dropkick Murphys would release seven more albums, amassing an impressive discography by any standards.

Not every album got a look in last night, but the band made a good effort to cover both old and new material, much to the crowd’s delight.

“I love the Dropkick Murphys, they’re a great band,” said Jenny Morgan from Dungarvan, Waterford.

“I heard they were playing this year and I had to go see them. I know it’s a bit obvious, but ‘Shipping Up To Boston’ is my favourite song, like, ever.”

Canadian Candace Brandaver, meanwhile, said she hadn’t known the band before the gig, but was definitely a fan now.

“I’m touring Ireland with my friends and my husband, Jarrod. He knows I like punk music so he got us all tickets!” she said.

Fellow Canadians Shelley and Jason Matthews said they were having a great time at the gig, and in Ireland in general.

While Dropkick Murphy’s were undoubtedly the main attraction of the night, a special nod has to go to support act Stiff Little Fingers.

The Belfast-based punk band produced an incredibly tight set and undoubtedly collected a few more fans among the audience members revelling in the return of the Big Top last night.

“I came for Stiff Little Fingers. I’ve been a fan since 1979,” said PJ Flanagan from Ennis, Clare.

“I saw them in Dublin in the 80s and it was crazy. The whole crowd went nuts. It was great to see them again, though the crowd is definitely older this time!”

Friends John Brennan and Steve Cronin from Cobh, Cork, said the veteran rockers were the highlight of last night for them.

“We loved them growing up. We were in a cover band and we would play their songs and everything,” said Steve.

“They were great tonight, they really were.”

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