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Music Review

Dropkick Murphys are not ones to stand pat

The Dropkick Murphys could walk through this round of St. Patrick’s Day shows in Boston and people would still love the hooting and hollering appeal of the Celt-punk spectacle.

But the Dropkicks didn’t - and never really seem to - mail it in Wednesday night at the House of Blues, the first of seven shows the band has planned through Sunday. While the Dropkicks have certainly left the punk trenches to become a band with broader appeal, it hasn’t compromised on sincerity.

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The band touched on all facets of its career in a bristling 90-minute set. In the year since the Dropkicks last played the House of Blues for a St. Paddy’s day run, the band has been touring relentlessly. Rather than seeming burned out, the Dropkicks sounded fierce.

The group leaned less on “Going Out in Style,’’ which was fresh during last year’s shows, and pulled out some gems such as “Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight,’’ its initial effort setting Woody Guthrie lyrics to fresh music (the better known example being “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,’’ also played) and a slew of tunes from its debut album “Do or Die,’’ which will be performed in its entirety Sunday at Brighton Music Hall.

The band also did a midshow acoustic set, an idea launched when the Dropkicks played at Fenway Park in September. Boxers Micky Ward and Danny O’Connor ambled out for a buoyant “The Warrior’s Code,’’ and the acoustic version of “Boys on the Dock’’ opened up the blue-collar anthem to a fitting folky light.

The Parkington Sisters - DKM allies over the past year - supplied plenty of fiddle and accordion support throughout the set, and Nora Parkington sang her role in “The Dirty Glass’’ with appropriately nasty vigor.

For a while, the Dropkicks’ St. Paddy’s shows were the institution. It’s safe to say that the band has achieved the same status.

Old-school Boston hard-core band DYS and Australian Celt rockers Ramshackle Army opened. DYS reiterated all that is good about the sharp musicality and heartfelt sentiment of Boston hard-core.

Ramshackle Army seemed like an Aussie version of aspiring Dropkicks but crackled with a nice freewheeling energy.

Note: The show repeats Thursday and Friday at the House of Blues; two shows Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell; and Sunday at Brighton Music Hall.

Scott McLennan can be reached at smclennan1010@gmail.com.
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