Boston’s finest, Dropkick Murphys, have been on tour through Europe for about three weeks in February. The last stop on their tour was Munich. As was to be expected, the show was sold out and the Zenith filled to burst.
They brought along Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls as a special guest and the solo artist Jesse Ahern, who started out the show.
Jesse Ahern started off in subways and later barrooms in Boston and beyond as the singer/songwriter for The Ramblin’ Souls. The band had its ups and downs and finally broke up in 2009. Since then he reformed the band again and they played shows from time to time. In 2013 he released his first collection of songs as a solo artist. He performed an acoustic set, just his voice, guitar and harmonica. In itself, it was a great performance, but it’s really a hard task to get a crowd that big going. He did a good job, but I think the atmosphere would’ve been better in a smaller venue.
Next on was Frank Turner, who swooped in and immediately had the crowd’s attention. He and also his band, The Sleeping Souls, brought amazing energy on stage and there was no stopping him. His set alone, with 16 songs, would have been good for a show of his own. The set-list was a well-balanced mix of several of his records. He also played two tracks from his latest one ‘No Mans Land’ – ‘Jinny Bingham’s Ghost’ and ‘The Lioness’. ‘Eulogy’ from ‘England Keep My Bones’ he even performed in German. During the set, he jumped into the crowd and chose a female fan to dance with. Frank Turner took the audience by storm. I’ve actually never seen him perform live, but I surely will again, whenever he’ll be back on tour.
Properly warmed up, the crowd was ready for Dropkick Murphys, who easily kept the pace up. The last few times they’ve been to Munich, they played in sold-out venues. No matter how frequently they release new music, their fans always stick to them.
Being around since 1996, with nine studio records in the books, they have a lot of songs to choose from. After the song ‘Foggy Dew’ (on tape, performed by Sinnead O’Connor & The Chieftains), for the first notes of ‘The Lonesome Boatman’ you could only see the band’s silhouettes behind a big curtain, which was dropped as soon as the song really kicked in. This was followed by the very fitting song ‘The Boys Are Back’. They played many of their greatest hits, all perfect sing-alongs like ‘Blood’, ‘Prisoners Song’, ‘The Auld Triangle’, ‘First-Class Loser’, ‘The Battle Rages On’ and also their brand-new song ‘Smash Shit Up’, which they just recently released. Ken Casey and Al Barr, the band’s vocalists, kept close contact to the fans. They often jumped down to the barriers to sing to and also with the fans. High up, on the back of the stage, was a huge screen that showed videos and album covers. They closed the 26-song-set with ‘Until The Next Time’, where they traditionally invite fans on stage. A perfect ending to an awesome show.
Dropkick Murphys will head out on a second round of the #bostontoberkeley tour with Rancid in the US in May 2020. You don’t want to miss this!
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Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls