Daniel Turner

Dropkick Murphys Kick off March in Columbia, SC with the St. Patrick’s Day Tour

Music Scene Media
Mar 5, 2024
6 min read

Heavy rains didn’t put a damper on the excitement inside the Township Auditorium Friday night. Fans were already lining the barricade minutes after doors opened. Some were parents taking their kids to their first big rock show, others were starting to grey and wearing tour t-shirts that were old enough to vote, but everyone was in good spirits and excited to see what would be one hell of a show.

First up was a fitting opening act for the evening given the name of the tour. THE SCRATCH a four-piece band from Dublin, Ireland.  The Scratch are largely an acoustic group with a lone 5 string bass being the only electric instrument on stage. The band also has a unique percussion set up with lead vocalist/percussionist Daniel Lang opting for a kick drum and cajón in lieu of a traditional drum kit. I would describe their sound as a mix of rock and roll mixed with Irish trad and with a bit of a classic rock feel. The kick drum and cajón combo truly shine on their song “Cheeky Bastard”. The rhythm reminiscent of an idling muscle car got toes tapping and had the early crowd moving.  Their set was well received by the crowd and I heard multiple people commenting on how great it was as they left the stage to make way for the next band.

The Scratch : Website / Spotify / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / TikTok / Twitter (X)

Up next were the Hermosa Beach, California punk rock veterans Pennywise. While they may not have been headlining, Pennywise drew a strong contingent of fans who mainly came to see them perform. Opening their set with “Peaceful Day” Pennywise kicked up the energy in the room, but lead singer Jim Lindberg wanted more from the crowd telling them “I’m gonna need a lot more motion out there” before jumping into “Straight Ahead”. The crowd quickly obliged as people started mixing it up with good old fashioned circle pits forming in the crowd. Lead singer Jim Lindberg would take a moment to remind the crowd that "the government and the media want to divide us because divided we are weak, but together we are strong!" This was a fitting intro to the next song "Fuck Authority" Following a little banter with the crowd the band led themselves into something of a punk cover medley, playing the intros to a few punk classics from bands like The Descendents, NOFX, and the Beastie Boys. The cover songs would continue with "Stand by Me" but not before a special guest would be brought on stage. Jim would tell the crowd that people have been sending him videos non stop of a girl named Sarah Lynn drumming Pennywise and other punk covers. Sarah got a moment in the spotlight when she was brought on stage and introduced to the crowd. "She's a ripping drummer" Jim said before telling her to shout out her Instagram handle (@sarahlynnja). Pennywise would end their set with the sing along classic "Bro Hymn" as well as the crowd singing "Happy Birthday" for Jim's daughter Ella.

Pennywise : Website / Spotify / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / Twitter (X)

As the house lights dimmed again a large video wall displayed the name Dropkick Murphys with a smoky overlay. The bagpipe intro to "Cadence to Arms" starts and the crowd behind me erupts as the band joins the lone bagpiper on stage. Singer Ken Casey rushed out onto a platform extending towards the barricade to greet the cheering crowd. After finishing "Do or Die" the band launched into "The boys are back" with the crowd on the barricade singing along with every word.

Shortly after I left the photo pit Ken had a young girl join him on stage and after one song she was commanding the crowd. After the crowd was called out for this little girl having more energy than them things kicked up a notch. From my seat I could see the circle pits getting bigger and everyone seemed to be having a blast.

As much fun as the crowd was having I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone having more fun than the Dropkick Murphys were having on stage. Ken Casey is a ball of energy and loves to interact with fans. As his young co-star joined him on stage again Ken asked what she wanted to tell the crowd as he held the mic out to her. She announced that today was her 9th birthday and asked if the crowd would sing her "Happy Birthday" and they quickly obliged. After the most wholesome crowd interaction I have ever witnessed the band kicked into a cover of AC/DC's "TNT" while the band signed a shirt for the girl's birthday.

As the night wore on the high energy and high spirits continued. There were smiles all around, even on the faces of people taking a moment to get out of the mosh pit for a quick breather before jumping back in. The Dropkick Murphys would try to end the night with a song Ken said he wrote for his mother "Kiss me I'm Shitfaced" but the crowd was having none of it. As the band left the stage chants of "LET'S GO MURPHYS" accompanied with rhythmic clapping had the auditorium sounding more like a sports venue than a concert hall. After a few minutes the band returned to the stage to play a two song encore consisting of "Worker's Song" and their breakout hit "I'm Shipping up to Boston"

Dropkick Murphys : Website / Spotify / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / Twitter (X)

The Claddagh Fund - A charity founded by Ken Casey

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