Concert reviews: 3 Doors Down tame; Dropkick Murphys wild
Mark Wahlberg flanked by Brad Arnold, left, and Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down at Stage AE on the North Side.
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3 Doors Down isn't actually on tour, but the Mississippi band has been making the rounds this summer.
In August, it was on the floor at the Republican National Convention, where the video reveals that it was the rock equivalent of talking to a chair.
On Thursday night, 3 Doors Down got a better reception from a crowd at Stage AE that was there not only for the music but to support the Mark Wahlberg Foundation and Pressley Ridge Foundation. Mr. Wahlberg was on hand for the occasion to also pump up his line of MARKED products for GNC.
The actor preceded the band and knew exactly what to do: pour it on about the Steelers and Pittsburgh. "We got Big Ben in the building! It's an [expletive] understatement. He's Gigantic Ben." Of Franco Harris, who was backstage, he said, "I don't get impressed that often, but he's a legend."
"I'm from New England," he added to a smattering of boos, "but I don't get this much love in New England." He went on to wave a Terrible Towel, chant Wiz Khalifa's "Black & Yellow" chorus and call Pittsburgh "the best looking town I've seen."
3 Doors Down, a post-grunge band, came out and was predictably sturdy and bland. It launched into its set with the title track to its fifth and latest album "Time of My Life."
The set included "One Light," a brand new song, played at the RNC, that sounds just like Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." The obvious highlight, besides the brief foray into Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law," was the band's 12-year-old signature hit "Kryptonite."
In an interview last week, Mr. Wahlberg said he didn't know 3 Doors Down personally, but that he was a big fan. Being from Boston and having played Micky Ward in "The Fighter," he would have been perfectly matched with the band that came through the North Shore the night before ...
The Dropkick Murphys are one of those bands that needs a place with lots of elbow room.
On Wednesday night, Ken Casey noted that "we haven't been able to find a good venue" in Pittsburgh and when he evoked the memory of the late Club Laga and the crowd cheered, he joked "it couldn't have been that many" that saw them there.
The Murphys singer-bassist was looking out at an absolute throbbing mob at the 2,500-capacity AE, and the boys from Boston rocked that room in typically raucous fashion. Five or six songs in, I was already splashed with beer and elbowed in the teeth.
The Celtic punk band, one of the biggest groups to break out of the Warped scene, filled the first part of the set with staples like "The Rocky Road to Dublin," "Which Side Are You On?" and "The Gauntlet," uniting the mob with its shout-along of "Stand up and fight/and I'll stand up with you!"
From there, the Murphys -- led by the growl and roar of Mr. Casey and Al Barr -- ventured into a mini-set of songs from "Signed and Sealed in Blood," an album coming Jan. 8. It looks to be a great one, with the Pogues-like bounce of "Prisoner" and "Rose Tattoo"; "Tear Us Apart," a piano rocker with an E Street vibe; and the full-on thrashy punk of "The Boys Are Back" and "Kingdom."
"The Warrior's Code," a tribute to boxer Micky Ward, was part of an acoustic interlude with "Citizen C.I.A." and fave "Boys on the Docks," introduced as "one of our oldest songs, the way we recorded it."
The last half-hour was typically riotous with set-closing anthems "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" and "Worker's Song," and encore of "Kiss Me, I'm [Expletive]," which brought all the ladies up on stage. By the time they got to "Skinhead on the MBTA" and the cover of AC/DC's "T.N.T." there were so many people on stage, you could barely see the band.
Somehow they were still able to play and finish out another wild set in a town that loves its rowdy Irish punk.
First Published September 21, 2012 12:00 am