Dropkick Murphys fans were intrigued when they heard the announcement of an acoustic show, but not everyone was sure what to expect. If anyone in the audience thought these bands would be sitting quietly on a stool they were absolutely mistaken. All three acts were lively and were there to rock Providence, RI.
The first artist up for the night was Jesse Ahern. He is a Quincy, Massachusetts native so he had the New England home crowd already on his side before he sang a note. Jesse played a good mix of some older tracks like “Highway of Life” and some of his newer material from the 2021 album Heartache and Love. Oozing with passion and doing it all, Jesse was playing the guitar, playing the harmonica as well as singing.
A very interesting note about his set that night is that he normally plays an acoustic guitar, but for half of his set at this show he chose to play an electric guitar. This was a fun twist to get the evening started.
Next on the stage was country artist Jaime Wyatt. She definitely has a country twang about her and at a first glance you might think she doesn’t fit in the lineup. After Jaime started putting down her hard-hitting lyrics to songs such as Rattlesnake Girl and Neon Cross you could see why Dropkick wanted to have them on this bill. Jaime holds nothing back when diving into a past drug addition and coming out as queer in a community that isn’t exactly known for discussing this topic.
The Dropkick Murphys took the stage and lead singer Ken Casey came out with the energy and enthusiasm people have come to expect and love out of him, but not necessarily what people are used to seeing at an acoustic show. The entire band treated this show as they would any other rock concert and did not dial it back a notch just because this was an acoustic show. They let the audience know the sit-down venue was a new concept for them, but they liked it for anyone that hasn’t yet come to a Dropkick Murphys show because they were worried about the huge mosh pit that typically ensues. Many of the band’s family members were in attendance as well as Ken Casey’s own “personal nun”. Before the band played their song “Middle Finger” Ken Casey said he would normally ask the audience to put their middle fingers in the air to start the song off, but out of respect of his nun in attendance he would just ask for a fist that night. Some of the crowd chuckled and everyone put up their fists.
Many fan favorites were played such as “Rose Tattoo” and older hit “Skinhead on the MBTA”. Fans were also treated to a gorgeous rendition of “The Fields of Athernry” that had many members of the audience in tears after Ken Casey shared that a marine from Massachusetts by the name of Andrew Farrar had written a letter home to his mother from Iraq that if he ever died he wished to have the Dropkick Murphys version of that song played at his funeral. Within a month of writing those words to his mother the marine passed away. The band attended Farrar’s funeral and placed inside the coffin a CD with their special version of “The Fields of Athernry” which they played for the audience that night.
Another beloved song especially in New England is the Red Sox favorite “Tessie” that came out in 2004 to help bring some spirit to the Red Sox. Of course, that was the year that the Red Sox ultimately ended up winning the pennant and breaking their 86-year losing streak. As of today, “Tessie” is played at every one of the Red Sox home games. Finally, the encore of the evening that you can guarantee will have every single person on their feet and yelling out the song was “Shipping Up To Boston”. A perfect end to an absolutely specular and unique event.