It was a typical cold night in Clifton Park, NY at the Upstate Concert Hall. The event was completely sold out and packed with people from all over the northeast. Eager for what was certain to be an entertaining night with the rowdy Irish punk rockers, Dropkick Murphys, the flock of fans gathered around opener Brian McPherson. He kept them calmly charmed with acoustic Irish Folk music. Fast strumming guitar paired with a whaling tenor voice and harmonica solos laced in proved that McPherson is a formidable one man Irish music army.
Blood or Whiskey came out to a crowd so thick that raising a drink to your mouth without accidentally molesting the strangers around you becomes a task. Angry irish chanting aimed at semi-sober thick blooded upstate New Yorkers did little to budge the people, though undoubtedly entertained. The front man calls for a circle pit but the crowd disobeys for fear that the silverback gorilla sized bouncer standing on the bar may come down atop them.
The Mahones were proceeded with Celtic jig music and a stuffed terrier atop the bass amp. All dressed in black, the group raged on and the people warmed up. Most intriguing was the accordion player. Heavily tattooed and highly attractive, she pumped her instrument with the intensity of a cage fighter. From time to time she leaned into her microphone to let out a blood-curdling scream that gave power to the lead vocals. With no room to fight or care or breath, the night moved on without a hitch.
Enter Dropkick Murphys with energy easily matched by the fans that somehow found room to smash against each other amicably enough. Juggling instruments like street performers, the band shuffled through instruments such as: an accordion, a small flute like object, bagpipes, a plethora of guitars, mandolins and other different small flute-like objects. The whole group tactfully traded vocals, or just all yelled together like the were celebrating at a pub. How could the Dropkick Murphys have this much fun every night!? After a few fights were stifled by criticisms from the Murphys and some more top-notch performances, including bringing up opener Brian McPherson for an amazing rendition of an old tune, the band “finished” their set. The entirety of the sold out crowd demanded an encore which was not only appeased but they were invited onstage to close out the night alongside their idols.