TVD Live Shots: Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, Bouncing Souls, and Jake Burns at Festival Pier, 8/3

On Thursday evening at Festival Pier in Philadelphia, a perfect storm materialized when the “From Boston to Berkeley” tour rolled into town, bringing with it 4 solid acts to remind Philly concertgoers that “Punk’s not dead.” The package tour which includes Stiff Little Fingers frontman Jake Burns, Bouncing Souls, Rancid, and the Dropkick Murphys, brought with it intense circle pits, as well as frenetic pogo-ing and sing-a-longs galore.

Jake Burns, frontman of the legendary Belfast, Ireland punk band Stiff Little Fingers played a short set of acoustic selections from the band’s catalog which stretches thirty-nine years, but stuck to early-era Fingers hits. Burns talked and joked in between songs which included takes on “Gotta Getaway,” “Nobody’s Hero,” before closing with their first single, “Alternative Ulster.” Burns ran out of time to tell his story about the band’s most well-known song, but promised fans that he would tell them all about it in a few months when the full band would be returning for a fall tour.

After a very brief pause, the Bouncing Souls tore into a fast paced set which included fan favorites like “Hopeless Romantic,” “Sing Along Forever,” and “East Coast F*** You.” Souls’ frontman Greg Attonito told the crowd that they always have great shows in Philly, but they wanted this show to be the best one yet.

Rancid was up next and played a mix of early songs from their self-titled debut Rancid, follow-up Let’s Go!, and 1995’s breakthrough album, …And Out Come The Wolves, relying heavily on Wolves’material, but also playing a swath of newer tracks from their just released ninth album, Trouble Maker. They opened the set with “Radio, Radio, Radio,” the band’s second single from 1993, and for the better part of an hour, Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen, Matt Freeman, and Branden Steineckert played with every bit of ferocity as they did in the early 90’s.

Politics played a back-seat during much of the show, save for “Telegraph Avenue” where the band reminded the crowd that freedom of speech is under attack, before launching into ska-punk favorite “Old Friend,” featuring the bouncy Hammond organ playing of Kevin Bivona of The Interrupters. At one point, Frederiksen told the audience to form the largest circle pit of the evening…to which the crowd happily obliged.

Dropkick Murphys took the stage last, following the intro of Sinead O’Connor & The Chieftans’ “The Foggy Dew.” When the lights came up, the Murphys exploded into their trademark blend of Celtic-tinged hardcore punk inviting the majority of the night’s sing-a-longs. Lead singer Al Barr floated between the stage and the barricade throughout the show, commanding energy from the crowd whose clenched fists were raised high all evening.

Dropkick played a ten song main set featuring crowd pleasers “The Gang’s All Here,” “First Class Loser” (which featured a brief snippet of President Donald Trump interspersed into the video montage being projected at the rear of the stage), and rager “Shipping Up To Boston.” The band ended the evening with a 4 song encore which consisted of covers including Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Sham 69’s Oi-punk staple “If The Kids Are United.”

DROPKICK MURPHYS

RANCID

BOUNCING SOULS

JAKE BURNS

FESTIVAL PIER, AUGUST 3, 2017

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