Dropkick Murphys: Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA

Dropkick Murphys: Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA
For those lucky enough to have experienced the Dropkick Murphys annual St. Patrick’s Day show, it’s something that must be seen to be believed. Although Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA doesn’t quite visually capture the spectacle, it does aurally capture the highlights of Dropkick Murphys’ seven shows in six nights on the week of St. Patrick’s Day.
The CD fades in with the traditional “let’s go Murphys!” chant from the crowd. Its a good thing the crowd noise is added because once the music starts, the album has the sound quality of a studio recording. While the crowd can be deafening at these shows, there is no crowd noise to be heard during the songs.
Often at these shows, the sound levels are a little off but through the magic of recording every banjo pluck and every accordion squeeze can be heard in perfect clarity. While this gives the listener an experience that is essential unrealistic, it does highlight the musicianship exhibited by the Murphys and their supplementary musicians. This is perfectly exemplified on “The State of Massachusetts”. The banjo and accordion are so loud that they appear to be the featured instrument. I can only assume this is an over correction because those instruments are traditionally lost during live shows.
Because of the excellent recording qualities, the album listens like an album of alternative takes of the band’s greatest hits. All the biggies are there including “(F)lannigan’s Ball”, “Fields of Athenry”, “Tessie”, “Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced”, and the encore performance of “Shipping Up to Boston” featuring Boston legends, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The one glaring omission is “Barroom Hero”, the song that first brought the band to prominence in the late 90s. Also surprisingly not included on the CD are “Skinhead on the MBTA” and “For Boston” both of which have been staples of the St. Patrick’s Day shows.
For fans of the Dropkick Murphys, Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA is the best sounding live album they have released. But taking away the live feel of the album by essentially eliminating the crowd noise makes for an odd dynamic. It makes you wonder “what is the point of a live album?” Is it to capture the live musicianship of the band or is it to capture the pandemonium of a traditionally tough ticket in the city of Boston? The album definitely does the first, but does not capture the atmosphere nearly enough.
Rating: 7.7/10
MP3: Dropkick Murphys featuring Mighty Mighty Bosstones “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”
Buy: iTunes