What did you do on St. Patrick’s Day? I went on a quick and swift journey to the United States, to Boston! It’s all possible now… Coronavirus may have taken the opportunity away from us to go and watch bands play their shows, but it hasn’t taken away our spirits, and that’s precisely what DROPKICK MURPHYS must have thought when they announced that their St. Patrick’s Day’s show is continuing, be it in a virtual format.
The band hosted a live stream of their show on their social media channels and gained an audience of over 150.000 viewers, and by now the video has been watched 6 million times. An entire festival worth of people dedicated their evenings to watch DROPKICK MURPHYS play their set in front of a somewhat empty venue.
The stream started with an intro right on time, there were some technical issues with the sound at first, which raised some alarm in the chat function on Facebook (which is where I was watching from), luckily this got solved, and the intro repeated itself until it got interrupted by footage of the guys getting ready for the show. Back to the intro, which played in a loop for about 15 minutes, as someone in the chat noticed “just like a real show, they’re even delayed.”
When DROPKICK MURPHYS finally was ready, and the live stream officially had begun we were taking by surprise with the traditional cover of “The Irish Rover.” Truthfully, it feels a bit weird watching a band play their show live when you have access to the luxury of being home, with the intention of the band playing specifically for you. It felt somewhat different from the typical live streams that are filmed with an audience. There may have been fairly little engagement from the audience (which in their case consisted out of their 8 people crew), but the couple of faces that were in the crowd did their best to clap, and shout really loud after every song.
One positive thing about this live stream is that the band could play whatever they wanted, whatever way they wanted, and didn’t necessarily need to stop at a certain point of time, that means that the setlist was really long – perhaps the longest I have ever seen: no less than 28 tracks were selected for the live stream, and played live. The band chose to play a lot of different songs from different albums, but the great thing was that they also had a little something in store for all the fans out there, the live premiere of three brand new tracks: “Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding,” “Queen of Suffolk County,” and “Burn It to the Ground.”
The band ended their set with the obligatory trio “Rose Tattoo,” “Until The Next Time,” and the epic “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” and proved that a successful live stream is something that can occupy fans from worrying about the current situation of the world, hopefully much more bands will follow them in hosting a live stream of their own. Those of you who were bummed out for not being able to buy merch after such a great concert also got a nice surprise. The band added this brand new design to their merch store that’s available for only 24 hours, which creates an even bigger community feeling. No, live streams are surely not the same thing as a real concert, but it surely is a great alternative!