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Rancid, Dropkick Murphys Bring a Raucous Fun Night to Asbury with Boston to Berkeley 2

Pop Break Live: Boston Berkeley 2 Tour featuring Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, The Bronx at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, New Jersey on August 27, 2021

Words and Photos by Willy Mellott

After 15 months of COVID delays, the Boston to Berkeley 2 tour arrived in Asbury Park.  Dropkick Murphys and Rancid were co-headliners and they drew a sold out crowd to The Stone Pony Summer Stage on a hot August night.

The Bronx started off the night celebrating their release of their sixth studio album which happened to be released that day.  They set the mood for the night and had the crowd dancing and running around the pit.  Their punk rock music set the energy level high for the night as the venue filled up awaiting the headliners.

For the Asbury Park stop on the tour, Rancid was up first among the co-headliners.  Band members arrived on stage as Toots and the Maytals’ “54-46 Was My Number” played over the sound system.  Rancid started off the night with their high energy classic “Roots Radical.”  Crowd surfers cruised atop the mohawks and tattooed crowd as they sang along with Tim Armstrong and Lars Friedericksen.  The career spanning set included many fan favorites including “Olympia WA”, “Fall Back Down”, and many others.  Fredericksen played a solo version of “The Wars End” which turned into a crowd sing-a-long.  They wrapped up their set with “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho.”

After a quick turnaround by the stage crew, the house lighting went down and Dropkick Murphys took the stage.  Starting their set was Jeff Darosa’s banjo intro to “The State of Massachusetts.”  The crowd, a few in kilts, started a circle pit and kept going for most of the night.  Fredericksen and Armstrong from Rancid joined the band on stage to play “Barroom Hero.” Dropkick Murphys played many new songs from their latest album, “Turn Up That Dial.” Singer Ken Casey joked, “While you were all sitting around collecting your stimmies, we were working hard to put out a new album.”  Casey noticed a lot of young kids, and a 65 year old, in the front row and handed out vinyl copies of the album to the kids.

They slowed down the night with their song “I Wish You Were Here” honoring a longtime fan who passed away from COVID.  Bringing the energy back up, they finished their main set with “Going Out in Style” and “Rose Tattoo.”  After a short break, the band came back out for an encore.  The night ended with their iconic “Shipping Up to Boston” as the video screen behind them showed drone footage of Boston landmarks including Fenway Park, the Bunker Hill Monument and more.

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys were a great combo for a fun night of punk rock music which was long overdue.  Fans were happy to be back at shows and everyone left wanting more.  Only time will tell if we see a Boston to Berkeley 3 tour, but I’m sure many, including myself, hope it returns.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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