Dropkick Murphy’s and Rancid Boston to Berkeley II Tour at The Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport, CT 9-1-21

 

 

 

It was a rainy day in Bridgeport, Connecticut that was filled with anticipation as I had never seen any of the bands on tonight’s bill before. All day, everyone was checking social media to see if the show would happen or not, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida barreled through the Northeastern part of the country. The forecast was for up to six inches of rain, lightning, and possible tornadoes. Tonight would be the last show of a 6 week tour, so fans were hoping that it didn’t get cancelled. With the venue confirming that the show would happen, I headed out to see what would become a memorable night of music. 

 With the roof of this brand new venue at The Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater not yet 100% complete, and the wind driven rain blowing in from the sides it was a wet start to the night. The show was supposed to kick of at 7:00 pm with The Bronx opening up, but the band got going at 6:30 pm as the storm was expected to intensify as the night progressed. The Bronx now has 6 albums out, with the most recent, “Bronx VI” just having been released August 27.  The First single off the album is “White Shadow” and there is a video out for the song “Peace Pipe“.  This punk band has been around since 2002, with original vocalist Matt Caughthran and Joby J. Ford on guitar. Caughthran, adorned with a snake tattoo on one arm and many more on the other, hit the stage  belting out the songs and getting the crowd going. Ken Horne on guitar, and Brad Magers on bass have been with the band 14-15 years and it definitely showed on stage.  The most recent addition to the band is former Queens of the Stone Age drummer, Joey Castillo.  

This Punk band from California really got the crowd going and was a perfect fit for this tour. Later in the set, Matt asked the crowd not to disappoint him, and that at every show on this tour there has been a pit. The crowd obliged, slamming and moshing about. 

The Bronx Is:

 

 

Setlist:

  1. White Shadow
  2. Shitty Future
  3. Heart Attack
  4. Superbloom
  5. Knife Man
  6. Six Days a Week
  7. Curb Feelers
  8. History’s Stranglers
  9. Around the Horn

 

Next to hit the stage was co-headliner, Rancid, fronted by founding member Tim “Timebomb” Armstrong. He was sporting a dreadlocked beard, Ska hat, and his well worn Gretsch hollow body electric guitar.  They began their 22 song set with 1995’s “Roots Radicals” and continued to belt out many popular songs from the album “..And Out Come the Wolves”. About half way through the set it seemed as though they were rushing things along to get the night in before the weather got worse. 

Rancid was a treat to watch, utilizing the full stage running back and forth and jumping while putting on a high energy stage performance. Tim Brennan from Dropkick Murphys helped out on keyboards.  Rancid ended their waterlogged performance with everyone singing along to their hit songs, “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho”.

 

Rancid is:

• Tim Armstrong – vocals, guitars (1991–present)
• Matt Freeman – bass guitar, vocals (1991–present)
• Lars Frederiksen – guitars, vocals (1993–present)
• Branden Steineckert – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2006–present)

 

 

Setlist:

  1. Roots Radicals
  2. Fall Back Down
  3. Journey to the End of the East Bay
  4. Maxwell Murder
  5. The 11th Hour
  6. Black & Blue
  7. East Bay Night
  8. Listed M.I.A.
  9. Ghost of a Chance
  10. Telegraph Avenue
  11. Old Friend
  12. Hooligans
  13. Salvation
  14. Rejected
  15. St. Mary
  16. Olympia WA.
  17. The Wars End
  18. Something in the World Today
  19. Black Derby Jacket
  20. Radio
  21. Time Bomb
  22. Ruby Soho

 

By the time Dropkick Murphy’s took the stage, the rain was coming into the venue sideways. The keyboards and pedalboards were covered with plastic until the band took the stage. Dropkick opened the set with Boys on the Docks. Then continued in the pouring rain, with several songs off of 2005’s The Warrior’s Code, there was no staying dry at this point for anyone. 

The rest of the night showcased songs of the current, and tenth, album, released April 30, 2021, Turn Up That Dial, and then a cover of The Crickets song, “I Fought the Law”.  After the song, “Good as Gold” , an announcement was made that the show was going to be shut down due to lightning coming soon, and that they could only play one more song.  They gave the fans a choice of two songs “Rose Tattoo” or “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”, and the pick was “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”. They asked the crowd to get a circle pit going around the fenced off area in the center of the floor. Everyone was dancing and splashing their way about. 

When the song was over, it was time to exit the venue due to the threat of lightning. Some weren’t too thrilled about this, but most understood. Shortly after getting to our vehicle, lightning started to light up the sky, so it was definitely a good call. This was one rain soaked, adrenaline infused, night of Punk Rock music that will not be forgotten!

 

Dropkick Murphys Is:

  • Ken Casey – lead and backing vocals (1996–present), bass (1996–present in studio, 1996–2018 live)
  • Matt Kelly – drums, bodhrán, backing vocals (1997–present)
  • Al Barr – lead vocals (1998–present)
  • James Lynch – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2000–present)
  • Tim Brennan – accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, keyboard, piano, tin whistle, backing vocals (2003–present), lead guitar (2008–present)
  • Jeff DaRosa – banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, keyboard, piano, harmonica, tin whistle, backing vocals (2008–present)

Touring Members:

  • Lee Forshner – bagpipes (2014–present)
  • Kevin Rheault – lead guitar (2017), bass guitar (2018–present)

 

 

Setlist:

  1. Boys on the Docks
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. Turn Up That Dial
  4. Middle Finger
  5. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
  6. I Fought the Law (The Crickets cover)
  7. Good as Gold
  8. I’m Shipping Up to Boston

 

 

 

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