Shrine Auditorium floor does not collapse despite best efforts of sold-out crowd at Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys lead singer Al Barr (center) performs to a sold-out crowd at the Shrine Auditorium. (Photo by Casey Riffe)

A sign hung on the Shrine Box Office window last night said it all: “Dropkick Murphys Show Sold Out.”

Inside, standing in line for beer was like being in a mosh pit. The actual mosh pit was enough to make the floor of the Shrine Auditorium (less of an auditorium and more of a high school gymnasium) buckle under the weight of a couple thousand fans. The last time that gym saw that many people, Keith Urban was playing, and his crowd doesn’t do the Riverdance.

Dropkick Murphys headline a show at Billings' Shrine Auditorium Feb. 25, 2009.
Dropkick Murphys headline a show at Billings’ Shrine Auditorium Feb. 25, 2009.

With a vengeful opening, the boys of Boston–bagpipes and all–unfurled their Celtic banner and plowed onstage, diving into the red stage lights. The myriad of fans broke into cheers and the band began a engrossing set of boisterous punk rock fused with their trademark Celtic melodies. The seven-piece band engulfed the stage; their lyrics sloshed perfectly with the exuberant crowd and their energy kept the gym buzzing.

A handful of people weren’t there to see the Dropkicks, as evident by their mass exodus following opening band H2O’s performance.

The melodic New York hardcore band, which developed a core following in the late 1990s, recently reformed and hit the road. Ten years older and claiming they’re not on a comeback, the band is touring in support of 2008’s “Nothing to Prove.”

With nothing to prove and a slew of covers ranging from Fugazi to Black Sabbath, the band was 10 years riper, and arguably past their prime.

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