Words & Photos by Melissa Lawlor

August 30, 2021

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Music is back, baby! And it feels so good. After 17 months of living in a pandemic that has changed our lives, we all try to navigate our way around a new norm and invite the things we love most back in. So it was a breath of fresh air on a hot summer day as punk bands Dropkick Murphys and Rancid made a stop at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park Friday night on their Boston to Berkeley II Tour. This was their second co-headlining tour together in which they shared the same stage back in 2017. The opener was The Bronx, a band from Los Angeles, CA that held their own weight on stage as they shared a large crowd of followers who were there to see them just as much as the headliners. All three bands were on fire and seemed just as happy to see us, as we were to see them.


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The evening started with opener The Bronx beginning their set with a song called "White Shadow" from their new album, Bronx VI. They also played another new one called "Superbloom" which is a song I absolutely love! 

Their new album, Bronx VI, is out now! Check out their brand new video for "Peace Pipe" here


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The steady stream of energy continued throughout the night as Rancid was up next and played so many of their great hits, like "Roots and Radicals," "Fall Back Down," "East Bay Night," "Old Friend" and "Time Bomb."

Their latest album Trouble Maker is available tor download now!

Follow Rancid here:  https://rancidrancid.com !


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By the time Dropkick Murphys were ready to hit the stage, the sun had gone down and it was the perfect setting for their opening backdrop, which was a fog followed by close up waves of the sea, that was embedded in their band name in large letters. It felt like the calm before a storm. As their signature background music filled the air, the band walked to the spots onstage in the dark, and then exploded into "The State of Massachusetts" when the lights came on. They played many of their iconic songs, such as "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya," "Worker’s Song," "Rose Tattoo," "The Boys Are Back" and "I’m Shipping Up to Boston." But they also played a few songs from their new album, Turn Up That Dial including the title track and "L-EE-B-O-Y," "Good As Gold," "Queen of Suffolk Country," "Middle Finger," and "I  Wish You Were Here." 

Download Turn Up That Dial today and  check out more tour dates here: https://dropkickmurphys.com !

Seven songs into their set, Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen, vocals and guitarists from Rancid, joined Dropkick Murphys onstage for “Barroom Hero." It was good to see them together having fun! Dropkick Murphys and Rancid have a long history together that goes all the way back to 1997 when Lars came across a Dropkick Murphys’ EP and gave it to Tim, who is also the founder of Hellcat Records. They were signed to the label, and a wonderful friendship was created. And through the years, their fans have grown with them, and are now bringing their children to the shows. Creating a whole new generation of fans! And despite the rough and tumble of crowd surfers and the wild mosh pit, deep down the punk rock family is always looking out for one another.

Download Dropkick Murphy's Turn Up That Dial today! Follow them at https://dropkickmurphys.com.

The Claddagh Fund

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The Claddagh Fund is the charitable foundation of the Dropkick Murphys, founded in 2009 by band frontman, Ken Casey. The Claddagh Fund honors the three attributes of the Claddagh Ring: Friendship, Love & Loyalty.

Their mission is to raise money for the most underfunded non-profit organizations that support the vulnerable populations in our communities. For more information, visit https://www.claddaghfund.org !

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"I was born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ surrounded by creativity and the arts. My parents always loved listening to music, so I was exposed to an array of genres from an early age. As my own tastes developed, I found myself drawn to performers who weren’t so mainstream. It was during college, while studying art and photography, that I embraced the punk scene and spent most of my free time “going to shows.” Whether it was in a local VFW Hall, a small club in the tri-state area, or somewhere on Rutgers campus, I was usually there with a camera. I became involved with local bands, working on photo shoots and designing artwork for them. After receiving my BFA in graphic design, I moved in the direction of publishing while always keeping an interest in photography. I currently live in Freehold, NJ and although concert photography still remains my favorite, I also like to incorporate portrait and wildlife work as well. Asbury Park has practically become a second home to me, and to this day you’ll still find me, whether working or in the audience, 'going to shows." ~Melissa Lawlor

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