The boys were back and they were looking for trouble at the Norva on Sunday, March 11th.
Dropkick Murphys blew into Hampton Roads along with friends Bim Skala Bim and Agnostic Front. The Norva was packed and the energy was high.
First up at this potentially hardcore concert was Bim Skala Bim. Clearly the lighter side of the entire concert, I was pleasantly surprised by this band. A high energy Ska band formed in Boston, the lead singer was energetic with a raw voice. The more upbeat music and themes were engaging and fun to dance to (if you could move around anywhere). I haven’t enjoyed a trombone in a stage band like that since No B.S. Brass Band. Influenced by music from the Clash, and more, the crowd seemed to really get into them. You can check them out here.
Sandwiched between the headliner and the Ska fun was Agnostic Front, the band that would be voted most likely to create rowdiness for the bouncers. While nervous Norva staff members kept their eyes peeled, this hardcore band lead a circle mosh pit as well as a death wall. The lead guitarist for this band was an entertainer in facial expressions and body movement. If the New York City based band’s sound isn’t your thing, enjoy their stage presence. Certainly the heaviest of the three bands, the lead singer showed his enthusiasm through his angry presence and wasn’t afraid to mingle with the crowd. At one point of the concert, the lead singer noted that 20 years ago, Dropkick Murphys was on tour with Agnostic Front, and now they reversed places. This band wasn’t my cup of tea, but it was an interesting genre to follow Ska and proceed the main event.
After a quick stage change, the crowd started calling for Dropkick Murphys to proceed to stage. While my husband calls their music “lepricore,” Dropkick Murphys proclaims their sound to be “Celtic-American punk rock.” Also originating from Boston, DM has been around since 1996, and is currently highlighting their current album “11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory.” The crowd was exceptionally engaged from the moment the band went on stage. A big crowd pleasing song was “First Class Loser,” which had attendees singing along in unison. While I thoroughly enjoy the visuals and lyrics to their “Paying My Way,” my favorite of their songs is a seasonal tune, “The Season’s Upon Us.” Be sure to add that to your next holiday mix. Certainly less hardcore than Agnostic Front, DM has a rough, rock edge to it. And they definitely connect well with the audience.
Overall, this concert was a little tougher around the edges than the traditional Irish music I hear around St. Patrick’s Day, but if you prefer a rougher sound, I would recommend this tour. While the main floor is really no place for a child to be during this concert, there were plenty of children at the Norva for this event. If you need something a little lighter for the season, I’d recommend looking into local acts such as The Fighting Jamesons or the even more traditional Glasgow Kiss.