Dropkick Murphys, Good Riddance, The Casualties – The Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR (October 27, 2003)

Today was a great day, The Dropkick Murphys were in town, and I was scheduled to interview Al, & Mark around 5:00 or so. I got there during soundchecks. I watched them reherse the song Forever, with some local fiddlers. Sounded good. Decided to do my part and slap Shite’n’Onions stickers on everything, and everybody. (Yeah, that was me, no big deal) I eventually interviewed Al, and Mark aka (The Kid) BTW, they were very cool, and very down to earth. (For those keeping score) A couple hours went by…

I missed the first band, but got there just in time for The Casualties. They remind me of The Exploited minus the accent. They sure seem to enjoy opening up for Celt-Punk bands, cause the last time I saw them, they opened for Flogging Molly. Next up, Good Riddance, I heard they were straight edge, so I went straight to the bar and ordered the drinks that they decided to pass up on, pretty good, but not what I came out to see, if you know what I mean…

It seemed like forever for the Dropkick Murphys to take stage. Random chants throughout the sold out crowd. “Let’s Go Murphys!!” My voice was shot before the band even played a note. My feet were numb from stomping the ballroom floor over and over. (I also knew that they were downstairs, so I stomped twice as hard.) Finally, after what seemed like eternity, Scruffy took the stage with his bagpipes in a headlock, and played Cadence To Arms. The hungry Portland crowd became so fucking loud that you could barely even hear the pipes! Out came the band. And the crowd got even louder. Damn! What a fine bunch we had tonight. I think the sound guys had to turn up the volume a bit, because the distortion was a bit high. Meanwhile the band continued to play various songs from their new album “Blackout” and a bunch from previous records. I was having too much fun to keep track of each and every song. I worked my way down to the front of the pit. Interesting crowd once again. There were no bouncers on stage, so quite often it would get a little crowded with stagedivers up there. Eventually, the Dropkicks roadie crew had to run out and push people off every so often. I have always laughed at the Crystal Ballroom’s “Security”, especially tonight. I swear they took the night off.

Any of you tall people know what I mean when it comes to crowd surfers, I think I broke a personal record tonight, as far as boot-to-face ratio went. I probably had a bloody nose, black eye, lump on head, whatever…I still wasn’t going anywhere. It had been a couple years since i’ve see the Dropkick Murphys. Then it happened… Someone stood on my heel, and off went my shoe… Shit. This has happened plenty of times before, and i’ve always gotten it back, but I guess tonight was my night. (The night you see your shoe fly across the stage!) I decided to stay put. Fuck it, I said. Then without warning, STOMP! Moments later, STOMP!! My foot probably looked like a crushed three day old calzone by now. I held my ground… STOMP! Okay, fuck it. I decided to retreat to the bar and watch from there, calzone foot and all. Eventually, the show was finished. The crowd screamed for more, but it was over. As I limped out the ballroom, I thought, ” Once again, a damn fine show, by the Dropkick Murphys.” I then wiped a little crusty dried blood off from under my nose and smiled. I can’t wait to do it all over again.

If anyone found a dirty brown right footed size 11 shoe (Vans) let me know, I’ll buy you a beer!
Review by Brian “Gimpy Foot” Gillespie

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