Celtic punk rockers the Dropkick Murphys will give Oklahoma City a swift kick of Irish pride just ahead of St. Patty's Day as they perform at 7 p.m. March 6 at the Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern. Tickets are $22.
The Boston band unites bruising guitars, furious mandolins, a bit o' bagpipe and growling barroom anthems that lend a new set of teeth to the drinking songs of yore.
Sports fans have long been familiar with the Dropkick Murphys since the renaissance of Boston-area sports. The band has reworked many traditional folk songs, but struck a chord with Red Sox fans with the ode-to-the-early-1900s Boston rallying cry "Tessie." It was released just before the Sox's historic championship that snapped an 86-year drought.
THE WOODY GUTHRIE CONNECTION
Although the chest-thumping, seafaring tune "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" can be heard during games of all that area's major professional franchises, it transcended into a well-known national anthem when it was used in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning 2006 crime epic "The Departed."
Lyrics for the song, which the band released on its 2005 "The Warrior's Code" album, were actually written by Oklahoma folk legend Woody Guthrie in the Forties. The band was invited by Guthrie's daughter, Nora, to check out the archives because her son was a Dropkick fan, according to archives administrator Michael Smith.
Sports arena songs and Billboard charts are all just icing on the cake to vocalist Al Barr and the band, but the music and energetic live crowds are the reason that the Dropkick Murphys are still going strong after more than a decade.
"The nice thing about this band is the crazy devoted fans," he said. "When you see the crowd going off on your music, it makes you reach down for an extra bit." - Charles Martin