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dropkickmurphysMitsubishi Electric Halle, Düsseldorf, Germany
14th February 2023
Dropkick Murphys - “Europe 2023 Tour” - Support: Pennywise, The Rumjacks, Jesse Ahern

Four bands! The DROPKICK MURPHYS and their three (!) support acts had a lot on their minds and made for a very entertaining evening in the very well-filled Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf.

Jesse Ahern

The first artist of the evening was JESSE AHERN. Contrary to the announced time, he entered the stage before 7:00 pm and not at 7:30 pm. By that time, however, the hall was already quite packed, so that the solo fighter from Boston stared into many expectant eyes as he opened his set. And so there he was on the big stage, all alone, just him with his electric guitar and a harmonica. And it sounded quite wonderful. JESSER AHERN has a strong, slightly smoky voice; the sound of his guitar sounded really rich and his music, which uses Americana, Folk, Rock and Rockabilly, was really well received by the audience. So the half hour went by like in a flash. A great start.

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10

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The Rumjacks

There was nothing to rebuild, as JESSE AHERN performed alone. So the break between the solo artist and the second act of the evening, THE RUMJACKS, was pleasantly short. The Punk Folk band, founded in Australia in 2008, already had a certain connection to the DROPKICK MURPHYS before this tour through Europe, because the front man of the RUMJACKS, Mike Rivkees, already toured with the DROPKICK MURPHYS last year to compensate for the absence of Al Barr. The singer of the MURPHYS has been taking care of his mother, who is suffering from dementia, for some time. And that should also have an effect on the evening in Düsseldorf. But I’ll write more about that below.


THE RUMJACKS entered the stage as a sextet and started very lively. The next half hour belonged to classic Irish Folk Rock. When singer Mike Rivkees wasn’t singing, he almost always went straight to the flute and played - actually, he was always busy somehow. But also the other five band members gave their all and so THE RUMJACKS impressed with a very, very strong performance, which went down so well with the audience that there were occasional requests for an encore.

Music: 7
Performance: 9
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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With PENNYWISE, the Punk band founded in California in 1988 followed. And the quartet around singer Jim Lindberg started extremely powerful at the beginning and had the whole audience in their hands. The short up-tempo pieces, which can be assigned to Melodic Hardcore, were very well received. Again and again the fans formed circle pits, also more and more crowd surfers let themselves be carried into the photo pit. However, PENNYWISE lost more and more sight of their performance as time went on. While in the beginning they were still creating action in the audience by motivating the left and right half of the audience to scream, while they only provided a simple beat with drums and bass, later singer Jim Lindberg talked for minutes about bands PENNYWISE are friends with. So SUICIDAL TENDENCIES were mentioned, METALLICA, RANCID, BAD RELIGION, WASTING YOUTH, BLACK FLAG, SUPERDRUGS, etc… - Here and there short licks were played, but in general it was way too much chatter.

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At least towards the end of their set the Americans focused more on their music again and performed ‘Bro Hymn’, a song where the whole audience was caught up again and still bawled when the band had long since left the stage. Cool.

Music: 7
Performance: 4
Light: 5
Sound: 8
Total: 6 / 10

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Dropkick Murpyhs

But then the time was finally perfect for the DROPKICK MURPHYS. As mentioned above, the Americans performed without their frontman Al Barr. This gap was filled by their second frontman Ken Casey. With all the more effort the singer found himself everywhere on and also in front of the stage. Almost every minute Ken Casey stormed into the photo pit and stood there on a table or on small platforms, from where he was very close to the audience and high-fived the enthusiastic fans and let himself be celebrated. However, Casey didn’t have to do the singing alone all through the night. During the first half of the set, he was joined by Sammy Amara, frontman of the German Punk Rock band BROILERS, during ‘Cadillac, Cadillac’, ‘Barroom Hero’ and ‘Cigarettes And Whiskey’.


And also towards the end of the evening JESSE AHERN returned to the stage to perform the ‘Worker’s Song’ with the DROPKICK MURPHYS. Of the other members of the band, guitarist Tim Brennan and multi-instrumentalist Jeff DaRosa made an impact. While the tall Brennan liked to make his way into the photo pit with his accordion, head-banging and hammering on the keys of his musical instrument, DaRosa kept jumping up and down behind his microphone stand, spraying a whole bag of good vibes while playing either the acoustic guitar or the banjo.


The long setlist offered a wonderful selection of songs from the folky Punk rockers’ discography. Besides four songs from the current studio album ‘This Machine Still Kills Fascists’, live classics like ‘The Boys Are Back’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ or ‘I’m Shipping Up To Boston’ were celebrated. And no matter which song was performed, the mood in the audience was excellent. There was non-stop roaring, and that’s what a DROPKICK MURPHYS concert is all about: an enthusiastic atmosphere.

01. The Lonesome Boatman
02. The Boys Are Back
03. Middle Finger
04. Famous for Nothing
05. Out of Our Heads
06. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
07. Two 6’s Upside Down
08. The Bonny
09. Cadillac, Cadillac
10. Barroom Hero
11. Turn Up That Dial
12. You'll Never Walk Alone
13. Ten Times More
14. God Willing
15. The Last One
16. Skinhead on the MBTA
17. The State of Massachusetts
18. First Class Loser
19. Know How It Feels
20. Good as Gold
21. Dirty Old Town
22. I’m Shipping Up to Boston
23. Worker’s Song
24. Rose Tattoo
25. Cigarettes and Whiskey
26. Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Light: 9
Sound: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All Pictures by André Wilms

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