The Dropkick Murphys live album gets 4 1/2 stars from

Dropkick Murphys - "Live On St. Patrick's Day"

To me live albums are usually nothing more than glorified greatest hits releases, or just something that a band does to fulfill a contract obligation. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, (Blue Meanies, Crass, Social Distortion), but for the most part I pass on live albums. Fortunately Boston's favorite sons prove to come through on a collection of songs that were played over three nights on St. Patrick's Day weekend. The band recorded over 75 songs, and picked the best 25 to put on this album. First off the production is great, when listening to this album it sounds like it was one complete show; there isn't a noticeable difference in the quality of any of the tracks.

The disc starts out with the Boston Police Gaelic Column marching onto the stage playing "Cadence To Arms" as the crowd chants "Lets go Murphys" from that Al Barr screams Let's Go Boston" as the band launches into "For Boston". After that the band just explodes from song to song barely taking the time to slow down and let themselves or the audiences catch their breath. During the entire set you can hear a drunken crowd singing along with every word, and taking over for the Murphys during the slow songs. I love the version of "Amazing Grace" one this album and "The Torch" both are done extremely well and convey the mournful nature of both songs, and are very moving. Before the band plays forever, they have a friend propose to his girlfriend, and Al(I think) announce that he got ordained as a minister online and is now available for weddings. Not only are the Murphys spiritually moving, but they also know how to party as evident during the "Spicy McHaggis Jig" where they invite all the girls up to dance on stage with Spicy. I also liked the cover of "Dirty Water" which was done with guest vocals by Dicky Barrett. The album ends with an excellent version of "Skinhead" and I just couldn't be happier with a live disc.

This is a great album, if you're a fan of the Murphys and have never gotten the chance to see them live, this is a good substitute. You can feel the energy and raw emotion coming through the speakers. I found it hard to sit still and not sing along to all of these Guinness soaked anthems. Do yourself a favor, get this album put it on as loud as you can, get drunk with a bunch of your friends, and have an impromptu Murphys concert in the comfort of your own living room.

Rating: ****1/2


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