Punk Rock Night Review – Dropkick Murphys, The Interrupters and Jesse Ahern – Maine Savings Amphitheater – September 27th, 2023

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On the evening of September 27th, 2023, the iconic Maine Savings Amphitheater reverberated with the vivacious energy of Dropkick Murphys, accompanied by special guests, The Interrupters, and opening act Jesse Ahern. Fans congregated for an experience oscillating between vigorous punk rock and poetic narratives reflecting life’s intricacies.

Opening the stage, Jesse Ahern unveiled his set with a raw, soulful intensity. The performance comprised songs like “Daughter and Son” and “Heartache and Love”, blending poignant storytelling with Ahern’s gritty, yet melodious vocal timbre. His rendition of The Clash’s “Bankrobber” was particularly noteworthy, wrapping the audience in a nostalgic embrace while still introducing his distinctive flair. “Pray” and “Highway of Life” concluded his stint, leaving the air simmering with anticipation for the subsequent acts.

Following this intimate inauguration, The Interrupters erupted onto the scene with their infectious ska-punk rhythm, instantly dialing up the ambiance. The ensemble, fronted by the charismatic Aimee Interrupter, delivered performances radiating rebellious energy and indomitable spirit. Their set commenced with the empowering anthem “Take Back the Power,” followed by the dynamic “Title Holder.”

Perhaps one of the highlights was their refreshing and energetic interpretation of Bob Marley’s “Judge Not,” encapsulating the audience in a vibe oscillating between nostalgia and exhilaration. The band continued to enthrall with hits like “On a Turntable”, “In the Mirror”, and “Raised by Wolves.” Their cover of Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” was a delightful surprise, infusing the pop hit with their signature punk-rock vitality. Concluding with “Gave You Everything” and “She’s Kerosene”, The Interrupters left the stage amidst roaring applause, having thoroughly warmed the atmosphere for the evening’s main spectacle.

Then, with the crowd palpably vibrating with anticipation, Dropkick Murphys exploded onto the stage. Each member, from lead vocalist Ken Casey to bassist Kevin Rheault, brought forth an electrifying presence. The band inaugurated their stint with “Ten Times More,” instantly immersing the audience in a tidal wave of sound characterized by intricate instrumental arrangements and compelling vocals.

“The Boys Are Back” and “Prisoner’s Song” followed in quick succession, each number elevating the crowd’s enthusiasm. Noteworthy was “Middle Finger”, resonating with anyone who has felt the pangs of defiance and yearning for autonomy. The heartfelt “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya” offered a moment of reflection amidst the robust sonic tapestry, and songs like “Queen of Suffolk County” and “Never Git Drunk No More” exemplified the band’s knack for intertwining humor with profound social commentary.

Dropkick Murphys’ cover of “Which Side Are You On?” paid homage to The Almanac Singers while introducing their distinct punk rock flavor. Their rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” swelled through the amphitheater like a rallying cry, a beacon of hope and solidarity in a tumultuous world.

A cascade of other hits followed, including “Hear the Curfew Blowin”, “The State of Massachusetts”, “Talking Jukebox”, and “Skinhead on the MBTA.” Each song, meticulously delivered, represented a facet of the band’s dynamic range and musical prowess. Concluding with the resonant “Until the Next Time”, the main set left the audience hungry for more, a hunger duly satisfied by the encore.

Returning to the stage amidst deafening cheers, Dropkick Murphys delivered a riveting encore, commencing with the spirited “Worker’s Song.” “Dig a Hole” followed, encapsulating the crowd in its rousing melody and evocative lyricism. Finally, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” reverberated through the space, a concluding anthem that left the crowd electrified, satiated, and undoubtedly eager for the next installment of Dropkick Murphys’ indomitable musical journey.

In totality, the concert was a symphony of diverse sounds, narratives, and emotions, woven seamlessly through the adept performances of Jesse Ahern, The Interrupters, and, of course, Dropkick Murphys. Each act brought a unique flavor to the stage, contributing to an atmosphere imbued with anticipation, exuberance, and the indescribable magic only live music can conjure. The echoes of the evening are bound to resonate within the amphitheater – and the hearts of attendees – until the bands grace its stage once again.

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