THE BOSTON HERALD
"Live on St. Patrick's Day" - which actually was recorded during three nights at Avalon - is 75 minutes of relentless, in-your-face, Celtic-infused punk rock played with an unbridled enery unique to Boston's Dropkick Murphys. The crowd matches the band shout for shout on "For Boston," "Spicy McHaggis Jig" and "Good Rats," and adds between-song hoots and hollers that capture the pumped-up, yet collegial vibe of the audience. All that's missing is the green beer. Slainte!
Every Dropkick Murphys show feels like St. Patrick's Day. But unlike the three respresented on the band's first live album, they don't all take place on the actual holiday weekend in front of a home-town crowd. From the 26 tracks of punk hytsteria on the disc to the map of the Southie parade route on the back cover to the liner notes from Shred and Dennis Lehan, this is the ultimate souvenir of Boston's finest new rock tradition. You don't have to be a Dropkick's fanatic to be impressed by the band's raw power on both their classic originals ("Boys on the Docks" "Barroom Hero") and their amped-up covers ("Dirty Water," "Fortunate Son"). Master of ceremonies Ken Casey has a few surprises up his sleeve for the occasion; he leads an impromtu version of the Bruins' themesong and presides over a friend's marriage proposal before "Forever." Guitarist Marc Orrell conjures up the spirit of X legend Billy Zoom with his fiery leads, and drummer Matt Kelly's hyperactive beats push the band to the edge of oblivion throughout. Throw in the all-ages sing-alongs "Wild Rover" and "Finnegan's Wake" and the only thing missing from this Irish rock party is the Guinness.