As live music certainly makes a huge comeback this year, there is no better way to visually be a part of the live experience than in a totally open setting overlooking a breathtaking view of Philadelphia underneath the stars of the Skyline Stage at the Mann Music Center. While we are blessed with our favourite bands embarking on tours once again, our bucket list or concert resume comes out and we start checking off bands we haven’t seen in months or for some of us years since the sweaty days of the Vans Warped Tour that can still stick out like a household branding.
They say music is the gift for those who endure the greatest pleasure of a live experience spanning a countless generation of fans who find many bands great, especially catching a glimpse of them on the many stages at Warped over the course of twenty years or more. Even if summer of shows hasn’t been all that exciting to wow one’s mental taste buds of the same old show after show or summer tour, it was quite a pleasure to be in the mix of the thousands during their co-headlining show simply branded From Boston to Berkley II Tour featuring the likes of Dropkick Murphys and Rancid flipping closing spots on this great tour.
For as many live shows as I have seen sitting through an entire set of Dropkick Murphys was a whole new experience for me. Every song was quite an uplifting candy rush blasting through the speakers at the Skyline Stage and that fan to band interaction, how I missed those days since Covid took away live music for what seemed to be an eternity and still has many shows re-routing tours going into next year. This show was even more sacred because not only was it outside, it never rained to damper our spirits.
With not being familiar with many of the Dropkick songs other than the ones radio continues to jam down your throat, ‘The Boys Are Back’ and ‘Rose Tattoo’, there were more than just those songs that energised the fans with circle pits and crowd-surfing as if this was Vans Warped Tour after dark. I have to say after catching over an hour of their set it was great. Ken Casey and his band worked the Philly stage like they owned Philly addressing the fans with “It’s great to be back performing again, we missed you” as he tossed out new copies of their brand-new record on vinyl like frisbees – now that’s rock and roll for you firsthand.
Honestly, the Murphys could have easily closed the show. They were that great live, every song, the power and passion that this band has live is unforgettable and the music as always does the talking for all of us how great a live show actually is. Dropkick Murphys weren’t just good…they were GREAT live!
All photographs credited to Steve Trager.