About.com Live on Lansdowne Review

ABOUT.COM: 2/23/10

Dropkick Murphys – ‘Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA’

The legendary St. Patrick’s Day shows are coming your CD player.

Dropkick Murphys are known for the energy of their live shows, and even more so for the energy of the annual St. Patrick’s Day shows in their hometown of Boston. These events span several days, are always sold out, and feature tons of great guests. This year, the Murphys are releasing a live CD/DVD combo from these shows last year. Recorded over the course of seven Boston shows in 2009 Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA is an attempt to share the St. Patrick’s Day shows with those of us who haven’t witnessed the holiday with the Murphys (or even those who have, but want a recording of it anyway). It’s the band’s second live release, following 2002’s Live on St. Patrick’s Day From Boston MA, an album that is currently part of my St. Patrick’s day mix. Live on Lansdowne features an entirely different (but still great) set list than the previous, and closes with a guest appearance by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones on the Murphys’ platinum-selling single “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.”

I’m always a little leery of live albums, as many are simply recorded poorly, then packaged for sale. This is not the case here. From the album’s opener, “Famous For Nothing,” the album captures all of the energy of a live Murphys set, and the recording is clean and perfect. In fact, some of the songs benefit from the live treatment even more so than they did on the original recordings. “Sunshine Highway” and “(F)Lannigan’s Ball” are injected with extra sweaty energy, and their Boston sports anthems “Time To Go” and “Tessie” are presented in best possible way, accompanied by the cheers and accompaniment of rabid Boston sports fans.

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” the band’s most successful song to date, is even more energetic than on the original, and when the crowd goes absolutely nuts with the appearance of the Bosstones, it’s readily apparent that this closer to the show is something absolutely amazing.

The flow is even better than the band’s previous live release, with not a lull to be found, and while I would have loved to hear a couple classic older tunes in this mix (“Boys on the Docks” or “Barroom Hero” for example), live versions of these tracks exist on the previous release, and the band’s catalog is so deep that I can understand and respect their choice not to repeat any tracks previously recorded live.

A Dropkick Murphys show is not something to miss, and the opportunity to catch them in Boston is something many of us will never get. That’s why Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA is essential listening for any Murphys fan, and if you’ve never caught them live, this album is a decent substitute that will probably serve as an incentive that forces you to make the trek the next time they’re anywhere near your town.

Track Listing

1. “Famous For Nothing”
2. “The State Of Massachusetts”
3. “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”
4. “Time To Go”
5. “Sunshine Highway”
6. “Flannigan’s Ball”
7. “Bastards On Parade”
8. “God Willing”
9. “Caught In A Jar”
10. “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen”
11. “Citizen C.I.A.”
12. “Fields Of Athenry”
13. “Your Spirit’s Alive”
14. “The Warrior’s Code”
15. “The Dirty Glass”
16. “Tessie”
17. “Forever 2009”
18. “Worker’s Song”
19. “Kiss Me, I’m Sh*tfaced”
20. “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” (featuring The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)

Release Date – March 16, 2010 (Born and Bred Records)