Sunday, we headed into Chicago to meet Mike and Happy Jack at Fat Cat's which is down the street from the venue, Riviera Theatre. We had a bite to eat and a few drinks and then headed to the show around 8pm. When we got there, Mike went to get the tickets. I forgot to mention that he is a friend of Ken Casey, the Dropkick Murphys singer/bass player/band leader. Mike came back with some All Access and VIP passes.
Mike and I went backstage to try to find the dressing room and Ken. We saw a few members of the band, and Mike introduced me to Evan, the tour manager. Then Ken showed up, and I was introduced to him. We found out from Evan the band had saved a section in the balcony facing the right side of the stage for the VIP seats. We proceeded to our seats.
They kicked off the show with some older songs which was nice to get to see them play live. After about 3 songs, Ken announced that if you hadn't noticed yet, they were playing their first album, Do or Die, in its entirety. When they ripped through that they called the boys up on stage while they played "Skinhead on the MBTA" followed by "Out of Our Heads" and BTO's "Takin' Care of Business". During the BTO cover, they also through in some lyrics from "American Band" and the Hey Ho Let's Go! chants from the Ramones.
They took a minute or so to clear out the stage and fix whatever may have broken (as Ken put it before he called folks onto the stage), and then went into a "second" set. This set had more of the newer songs that most of the audience was probably there to here.
Before the band broke into "End of the Night", they called the ladies up on stage. At this point, we convinced Wendy to take the All Access pass and go up on stage from the side of the stage rather than climbing over the barrier. After that, they broke into "Shipping Up to Boston" and finished the set.
After the show, we waited around to find out where the VIP after party was taking place. Mike went to get Ken to see what was happening. Ken came out and shook everyone's hand. After another few minutes, we all headed to the bar area at the front of the venue. Ken spent time talking with the 20-30 people that were there. We got to spend another 10 minutes are so talking to him, and got to hear an interesting story about the Boston Red Sox parade and the Boston mayoral elections. We managed to get a picture taken with Ken too.
I managed to get a picture of the setlist from a youngster who was at the side of the stage all night. I didn't recognize it until the next day that the band had signed it for him. Lucky kid!
Thank you's go out to my buddy Dave who made the arrangements for me through Mike, for Mike who got us a sweet, unforgettable evening meeting Ken Casey and getting backstage, and for Happy Jack for being a cool cat and being fun to hang out with. It was a memorable evening that we will never forget.