Good o' Punk Rawk! what a night it was for punks in Denver with the mighty Street Dogs coming to town. According to lead singer, Mike McColgan, the Street Dogs were up in Fort Collins (Blasting Room) to record their 5th full-length record. They decided to play a few shows while in town and joined up with local punk band Reno Divorce and a sellout crowd at the Marquis Theater.
I personally have seen the Street Dogs a few times and didn't think they had that great of a following out here so i was expecting a small turnout, but i was wrong. I dragged my buddy Thomas to the show, he's never really been to any shows let alone punk or hardcore so that was a fun experience for both of us. We drank some PBR, and headed into the pit to get the best view of the band (since we're both under 6'). Street Dogs did not disappoint.
If you don't know the Street Dogs i'll give you a little history lesson. Back in the 90's street punk / oi punk / gutter punk was starting to get really popular lead by bands like Rancid, Swingin' Utters, One Man Army, The Business and so on. Around 1998 the Dropkick Murphys arrived on Hellcat Records with their brand of Irish punk including bag-pipes and everything irish. They played punk songs and beer drinking songs, folk songs and everything you'd expect from an Irish band. Their lead singer was Mike McColgan, who grew up in Boston, and he was responsible for some of the best Dropkick Murphys songs ever written. Unfortunately Mike left the band to be a fire fighter in Boston, and was replaced with Al Barr (Bruisers). The Murphys went on to major success, playing huge shows, headlining Warped Tour, playing with the Red Sox at the World Series, being on MTV and whatnot.
The Murphys were still good, but not as authentic feeling as they were when Mike was the lead singer. AFter a few years Mike apparently wanted to get back to music and started a new band, Street Dogs, with the same middle-class, hard working, feel as the Murphys but no bag-pipes. Since their inception in 2002 the Street Dogs have released 4 full-length records and have toured almost non-stop.
I was really excited to bring along Thomas to this show because it would be entertaining even for someone who had never really listened to the band. the songs are catchy and easy to sing along with, and the energy from both the band and the crowd is unmatched by a lot of hardcore bands these days. The show started pretty late so it was 11p by the time the Dogs got started, opening with Not Without a Purpose, Not Without a Fight. They played most of the "hits" like You Alone, In Defense of Dorchester, Back To the World and even played some of the slower sing along songs like Tobey's Got a Drinking Problem, and 2 Angry Kids. Final Transmission was probably the song of the night. I was expecting to hear Strike a Blow and Fading American Dream but i think they were holding those for the encore, which we didn't stay for since it was after midnight.
Mike was great, getting the kids to sing along on most of the sings, passing the mic, and at one point he "crowd-surfed" his way back to some of the tables in the venue. From there he preached a little, starting off with "there's a lot to be angry about these days...". a typical punk rock message of uniting together to help each other out. after his speech he "surfed" his way back to the stage. No fights broke out which was impressive considering the amount of people there and the cheap beer. At one point Rick Barton joined the band on stage. Rick was also a member of the original Murphys and wrote a lot of the great songs on Do or Die. He's up in Fort Collins writing with the Street Dogs. All in all it was a great set from Street Dogs, even Thomas was impressed and could understand some of the words.
The other bands that played were Kill City Rebels and Reno Divorce. KCR was good, but just not my style. Reno Divorce is a punk rock band from Denver and i've seen them play a few times as well. They're solid, a band that i could listen to, but never one that i would consider a favorite. The crowd was with them on this night though and it was great to see the support.
Street Dogs performing Not Without a Purpose: