Burgettstown - As a youth, Al Barr didn't go to huge rock concerts because his strict parents wouldn't let him.
Yet, Barr's parents let him attend "all-ages" shows at small clubs in nearby Boston.
"My parents would look at those two innocent words - "all ages" - and think, oh that sounds safe, so they'd let me go," recalled Barr, singer for the Dropkick Murphys. "Little did they know, all-ages shows really were hardcore-punk shows where there was no chaperone or anyone watching the kids jump off the stage or moshing.
"They probably would have been safer sending me to see Judas Priest," said Barr, who along with the other Dropkick Murphys will perform Wednesday at P-G Pavilion in Burgettstown, as part of the Van's Warped Tour.
And look out moms and dads: That's an all-ages show, where moshing, crowd-surfing and other audience craziness likely will occur.
The concert, which begins at noon and lasts until about 11 p.m., also features Rancid, Bowling for Soup, the Ataris and 25 other bands that truly deserve the title "alternative."
And, as dictated by Warped Tour tradition, those bands won't know the order they go on stage until the morning of the show.
"For instance, I just found out 20 minutes ago that we're going on at 4 o'clock today," said Barr in an 11:30 a.m. phone interview last week. "And last night, we played at 8 o'clock."
Warped Tour organizers prefer to mix up the daily schedule to keep the bands on their toes and to force fans to arrive early. That can be beneficial to bands trying to reach new ears.
"That's one reason we do this tour. You're not just preaching to the converted," Barr said. "There might be people there to see other bands who walk by the stage during our set and hear something they like, and so they stop to listen."
The Dropkick Murphys do possess the power to stop people in their tracks, with a rich and raucous Celtic-punk sound that picks up where the Pogues left off a generation ago. On their latest CD, "Blackout," the Dropkick Murphys slide effortlessly from bass-thumping drinking songs to bagpipe-bleating folk-punk anthems that praise working class heroes.
The CD's opening cut, "Walk Away," assails a society where people get married and divorced too quickly, leaving their children without direction.
Barr, whose wife of 10 years is expecting their first child in December, said he comes from a long line of ancestors who remained married until death they parted.
"I'm not saying we're better than anyone, but no one in our family looked at the door as an option or an escape route," Barr said. "We tried to work it out."
Barr also is proud of his band's fiery new song "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight," featuring unpublished lyrics from Woody Guthrie. The folk-music legend died before he could set the song's words to music.
Taking the advice of her son, a huge Dropkick Murphys fan, Guthrie's daughter, Nora, approached the band a year ago and asked them to record "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight."
"That was a great honor, and very daunting," Barr said. "People might have expected the song to sound folky, but it's one of the hardest songs on our album. I hope Woody's not spinning in his grave."
On further reflection, Barr added, "I think the spirit of the song is in keeping with Woody."