Not to say that there aren't other Celtic punk rock bands touring the country, but there's really only two that matter: Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. The latter sold out the Midtown Ballroom about two years ago and the former will try to do the same this weekend. It's not a Biggie/TuPac sort of thing, but Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly indeed create the same sort of coastal dichotomy with the Murphys being pretty much the biggest thing in Boston while Flogging Molly has the L.A. market, and much of the West Coast, on lockdown. But let's get something straight. There's no real beef between the two bands - in fact, there's plenty of crossover with the two acts' fan bases.
Speaking of fan bases, Dropkick Murphys has one of the most loyal followings in rock and roll and has since breaking out as one of freshest sounds on the punk scene in the mid '90s. Since then, they've repeatedly found themselves on the Warped Tour lineup while pumping out solid album-oriented records, including their most recent disc, 2007's The Meanest of Times. The band hit the mainstream when their song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" was used in Martin Scorsese's Academy-Award-winner The Departed. Then, the Red Sox started playing it at their games during the 2007 season, giving them even more street cred in their hometown.
But they have plenty of respect here in Bend, too. You've probably seen a T-shirt or two around town bearing the band's name. Or maybe a sticker. Or you heard a song pumping from a passing car. But even if you've never heard of this band, the show is worth checking out - maybe because it's an excuse to pretend it's St. Patty's Day on a Sunday in November.
Dropkick Murphys, The Flatliners, The Insurgence, Larry and His Flask
8pm Sunday, November 8. Midtown Ballroom, 51 NW Greenwood Ave. $22/advance, $25/door. Tickets at Ranch Records or Ticketswest.com. All ages.