A fatal Dropkick to the head

By Leah Sasges

What do you get when you fuse punk rock and traditional Celtic folk music? No, it’s not Newfies at a Rancid concert, it’s the energy-driven, Celtic-punk fusion that are the Dropkick Murphys.

As I ease into the conversation with lead singer Al Barr, his prominent accent reflects the band’s Boston roots.

“The band started in 1996. It was just a bunch of people that wanted to play music, just something fun that turned into something more,” he says. “We’re not a folk band first, we’re an American punk band that incorporates Celtic music. Growing up, it’s not cool to like what your parents listen to, but as you grow up you seem to come full circle.”

On Fri., Oct. 31, the band takes the MacEwan Hall stage with Good Riddance. The last time the band graced Calgary was for the Vans Warped Tour.

“The Vans Warped Tour gave us a chance to play for a wider listening audience,” Barr explains. “Maybe people who hadn’t heard us before will be exposed to our music, like our stuff, and come check us out next time we’re in town.”

If the fact the show falls on Halloween and may interfere with your plans to get shitfaced is deterring you from attending, don’t let it. Their songs are about good friends, good times, good beer and attract a crowd with just that in mind.

“I don’t drink like I used to drink,” says Barr. “I don’t drink beer anymore, it gives me wicked headaches. Some of the younger guys have taken to drinking Budweiser, but I never drank that swill, I try to stick to rum. As you get older you’re just searching for the drink that won’t betray you in the morning”.

So grab a pint of your favourite brew, raise your glasses and stumble down to MacEwan Hall to check out a sensational show.

The Dropkick Murphys play MacEwan Hall Fri., Oct. 31. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 299-8888.

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