Dropkick Murphys with The Rumjacks and Jesse Ahern
Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
March 10th, 2023
The fans were out in full force on March 10th in Louisville, KY for Dropkick Murphys, who brought their St Patrick’s Day Tour 2023 to Old Forester’s Paristown Hall. Having formed in 1996, they have amassed a large and passionate fanbase over their nearly 3 decades as a band! The venue was packed this evening, from the floor to the balcony, and spirits were high. The atmosphere was friendly, the drinks were flowing, and everyone was ready to have fun! Opening the show this evening was Boston based folk/americana/rock musician Jesse Ahern. With just a harmonica and an acoustic guitar, he performed a short but fun and rowdy set for the crowd. He talked quite a bit with the crowd throughout his set, joking and telling stories and making everyone feel like a friend. “Thanks for coming out early!,” he said early on. “I’ve been traveling all across this country and I miss my kids but it’s ok because I’m out here singing for all of you!”. He went onto to talk about how moments like these are some of the only good moments in this messed up world. That everyone leaves all of their problems at the door and come together to listen to music and have a good time. He announced that he would be releasing his new album soon called Roots Rock Rebel, on the Dropkick Murphys label Dummy Luck Music, and performed some of the songs for the crowd this evening. One such song was “Pray”. “I ain’t no holy roller, but I’m going to sing you a song from my upcoming album called “Pray”. I don’t care how you do it, but sometimes you just need to ask for help. I’m going to need you to help me out, so clap those hands and stomp those feet!”. He also sang the new track “Back Against The Wall”, dedicated to the working class who make the world go round. He thanked the crowd as he he ended his set, saying it had been a “pleasure, honor, and privilege to perform for everyone this evening.”
Next up was Australian Celtic punk band The Rumjacks. These guys were pure energy on stage and very interactive with the crowd. Singer Mike Rivkees (vocals/tin whistle/acoustic guitar) bounced around the stage throughout the set, interacting with his bandmates and the crowd. Their many fans in the crowd were engaged, as well, singing along with their hands in the air. While they talked a bit between songs, thanking the crowd for coming out this evening and for their support, and making sure everyone was having a good time, they mostly let their music do the talking. Performing tracks from their most recent album, 2022’s Brass For Gold, such as “One For The Road” and “Bloodsoaked in Chorus”, and their 2021 album Hestia, such as “Bullhead” and “Through These Iron Sights”, they also performed some older tracks, including “An Irish Pub Song” and “A Fistful O’ Roses”. They really got the crowd dancing and singing and buzzing with energy!
Closing out the evening was Dropkick Murphys. These guys always bring the energy! “It’s good to be back in Louisville! We don’t get back here enough!”, announced singer Ken Casey. You would be hard pressed to find a band who engages the crowd as much as this band. They love their fans and their fans love them. With a platform set up in front of the stage, in the middle of the photo pit, he spent a large portion of the set standing on it and holding his microphone out to various fans at the front to sing along. Starting the set off with “Middle Finger”, “The Boys Are Back”, and “Famous For Nothing”, the band performed a long and varied 26-song set, with classic hits such as “Rose Tattoo” and newer ones. About halfway through the set, Casey told the crowd that “Dropkick Murphys have been around for 27 years now, if you can believe that-guys as young as us!”, going onto say that they had released 11 albums, with their forthcoming 12th album Okemah Rising to be released in May. After a few more songs, Casey told the crowd that the band had only performed here 3-4 times and weren’t sure how many old school fans were here, before regaling the crowd with the story of how the band started. He then launched into the first song he ever wrote, “Barroom Hero”, dedicating the song towards the end to “the most loyal goddamn fans ever!”. After performing their latest single “I Know How It Feels”, Casey commented with humor on a rare phenomenon he was witnessing, which was that of the side bar mosh pit. “I’d love to see the side bar mosh pit take it to the center mosh pit! And I can’t think of a better song to do that to than “Skinhead on the MBTA”. Performing a few more songs, including “Workers Song” with Jesse Ahern, the band treated the fans to a 3-song encore of “Rose Tattoo”, “Boys on the Docks”, and “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced”. It was a really fun night that made many fans hope the band comes back to Louisville soon!