Whether you view the Dropkick Murphys as purveyors of pub house punk, bagpipe rock or some other form of raucous Celtic music, one thing is certain: These guys know how to party. For well over a decade they’ve been belting out one spirited anthem after another, and whether they have been giving a collective finger to the establishment or riding high on the simple joys of drinking with your mates or cheering on the Boston Red Sox, their fans have pumped their fists in agreement every step of the way. Now it’s Eugene’s turn to join in the fun.
Their last release, Going Out in Style, was viewed by some as a softening of the band’s sound and content, though you would be hard-pressed to completely agree with this notion after one listen to the uproarious title track — talk about a classic drinking song! For every dirge like “1953” or the almost bluegrass sound of “Take ‘Em Down,” there is a driving fight song like “Deeds Not Words” or a rousing chorus like “Climbing a Chair to Bed” on the album to more than even the score. Maybe the band isn’t as hardcore as they were in the beginning, but who can truly maintain that image for sixteen-plus years anyway?
As the Murphys roll into town it is worth highlighting the band’s sense of camaraderie with their fans. Their music is meant to inspire solidarity, lift your spirits and encourage you to live for the moment with all the gusto you can manage because it might be your last. Eugene is about to get a heavy dose of the Murphys, and who knows? With their forthcoming record Signed and Sealed in Blood due out Jan. 8, maybe they’ll play some tracks to give us a taste of what’s yet to come.
Dropkick Murphys play 8 pm Friday, Nov. 9, at McDonald Theater; $25, all ages.