[RECAP] Bouncing Souls, Rancid and Dropkick Murphy’s at Festival Pier 8/3/17

"The gang's all here..."

Last Thursday was a show to go down in history, especially for me, being an adult who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. These bands were bands I’ve seen more times than I can count in my youth, and I had really high expectations for this show and they did not disappoint.

The show started with a surprise opening, an acoustic set from the lead singer of Stiff Little Fingers. I’m not familiar with the band, even though I know they’ve been around since the 70’s. However, they wouldn’t have been my choice in opening acts since it was a pretty mellow set. Thankfully it only lasted about 30 minutes.

Around 7 o’clock the Bouncing Souls came out, in my opinion, to kick off the concert. They opened with a lot of great hits between “East Coast! F*ck you,” “The Ballad of Johnny X” and ending with “True Believers.” The energy they brought to the crowd was amazing and definitely hyped everyone up for Rancid.

Just before sunset Rancid came out playing favorites like “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho.” Personally I would have loved to have heard “Red Hot Moon.” They played pretty much all old music and not anything to promote their new album. But I won’t completely complain because I personally wouldn’t even know what their new songs are. 2017 has been a tough year for me and following music has taken back seat to everything else. I will say they were just as good this time around as they were when I saw them at my first Warped Tour, with the exception of now having Branden Steineckert as their drummer. This was my first time seeing him on drums since he was in The Used, and he plays with a lot of heart.

The main event for me was The Dropkick Murphy’s. Every single time I’ve seen them they bring 150% to the stage, opening up with classics “The Gang’s All Here” and “The Boys Are Back” and ending with “True Believers” before they came back with an encore featuring Rancid to cover the late and great Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison”. Their lead singer, Al, really loves to be in the middle of the crowd, during the time I watched him through my camera lens he hardly left, it’s like he feeds off of the energy and gives it back ten fold. I spoke with a lot of friends who went to this show, they loved the entire set but Dropkick seemed to be a favorite out of the bands. They play with heart and soul. In addition, they are just all around good guys who fund a lot of great organizations and donated a lot toward the Boston bombing victims.

I’ve got to say the best thing about going to a punk show, and I feel like it’s always been, is the unity and diversity. There are Skins, Punks, Kilts, Moms, Dads and now even kids. I couldn’t even count on how many kids under 15 I saw there. Which made me smile, as a first time Mom to be, it makes me happy that music from my youth is still going strong and that parents are still teaching their kids about all types of music, regardless if they are played on the radio or not. I know now we can switch on stations like WMMR or RADIO 104.5 to listen to rock music, but it wasn’t that easy when I was a teenager, we had to either buy the CD or hope that Y100 would at least play some of the music we wanted to hear.


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