When I first saw a flyer for Fordham’s Spring concert, my mouth dropped and I screamed like a little girl (well, almost). For the first time since I’ve been at school, I had something to brag about and something to like about my school. Yes, the Dropkick Murphy’s and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were coming to my school. I knew it would be something to remember.
So on Friday, March 8th I entered the Lombardi Center at 8pm, after waiting on a long line of preppy students and punk rockers that were clearly not parts of the student body. The first thing that angered me when I entered, though, was the rows of chairs set up, as if it were some kind of sit down concert. I bitched and bitched and bitched some more that you can’t possibly have chairs set up and bound together in rows for a Dropkick Murphy’s / Mighty Mighty Bosstones show. But that’s Fordham for ya, right there. I looked up near the stage and began to worry about the lack of space between the stage and the rows of seats. How in hell were kids going to dance, mosh, and crowd surf in a space that seemed 10 yards long? Well I guess I was more and more wrong as the night went on.
The first band to take stage was Fordham’s own Cold Fusion. I waited to see a drummer come out and at least one other guitarist and/or bassist, but I was surprised when the two people on stage continued playing music for the whole set. Made up of two fellas named Saleem and Carll, these guys played some short but sweet acoustic stuff.
Though the house wasn’t yet half full, and though no one really gives a crap about the first opening band at any given concert or show, I must admit I liked these guys. I didn’t catch the name of the song they opened with, but they played two originals and closed with a nice rendition of “Sexual Healing.” So what does Cold Fusion sound like? I’d say they’re the closest thing to Dave Matthews Band that Fordham University could get for their Spring Concert.
Now, even though no one will admit to enjoying them because they were “the opening band,” I will admit that they at least got me tapping my foot and maybe even nodding my head a few times. I was sad to see them leave the stage after only three songs; I felt cheated out of what could have become an enjoyable band.
Next up was Boston’s own Dropkick Murphy’s. For those of you who don’t already know, the Dropkick Murphy’s are a lovely mix of punk rock, Irish folk, and maybe even a little hardcore (depending on your definition of hardcore). They opened with “For Boston” from their most recent release, “Sing Loud, Sing Proud” and even though I didn’t know the words, I had a big, wide grin on my face as I saw the pit open up and the crowd surfing began. It was a sweet realization that this familiar energy of the crowd was taking place at my very own Fordham. I saw a lot more energy than I had expected; it seemed like everyone was singing along with their raised fists. Quite an entertaining and unusual group, how many other bands do you know of that have a bagpiper?
A highlight of their performance was when the lead singer let a few girls come on stage and dance with them. It was obvious that they were having a good time being in the spotlight and Al Barr didn’t seem to mind at all. They closed with “Good Rats,” also off “Sing Loud, Sing Proud” which sent the crowd into mayhem since they knew it was nearing the end. The only thing that suffered was the sound—I wasn’t the only one who complained that it was hard to hear clearly.
My only other disappointment was that they didn’t sing anything from their “Do or Die” album, which is what I was waiting for all night. It seemed that they played almost everything off their new album, but they could have at least played “Skinhead on the MBTA” or “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. Maybe it was just that Al Barr knew the songs off “Do or Die” aren’t the same with him singing, since he didn’t join the band until after the release of that album. But either way, the Murphy’s played an amazing set, giving Fordham every last ounce of energy they had left in them, and definitely leaving the crowd wanting more.
I was definitely interested to see what Jadakiss was all about. Straight out of Yonkers, NY, Jason “Jadakiss” Phillips was front man of the Lox, and later released his own album called “Kiss Tha Game Goodbye” which debuted at #2 on Billboard’s R&B/HipHop Chart in the summer of 2001. He was recently in a Reebok commercial with Allen Iverson and even performed on The Source Awards. So he’s not exactly new to the rap scene.
He took the stage with quite a number of fellow rappers and friends, and the next thing I knew was that most of Lombardi had their hands up swaying back and forth. If it hadn’t been Fordham’s Spring Concert, I would have mistaken it for a Hot 97.1 concert.
Even though I’m not rap’s biggest fan, I must admit that even I was having a good time. Jadakiss had let a girl or two come up to dance onstage, and it seemed that the smooth yet energetic music itself (or maybe it was Jadakiss himself) was encouraging everyone to let their inner freak out. Soon enough the whole stage was flooded with girls getting their freak on with each other and with the rappers themselves. I watched intensely as I gaped at what looked like some kind of soft core porn coming straight out of a rap video. Not too bad. All in all, Jadakiss was quite the entertainer.
Finally, the well known Mighty Mighty Bosstones appeared in their usual suits and the energy in the air instantly increased. The pit almost never died, nor did the crowd surfers. I had never seen a ska band before, but hell—even I wanted to start jumping up and down and dance like a freak.
There’s no denying the energy and mood a ska band creates, much less the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Dicky Barrett continued the connection with the Fordham crowd by letting some people up onstage to dance, yes, even rockzone.com’s own Steve Bozzone. At one point during their set, one guy who was up on stage had taken off his shirt and gave it to Dicky, saying he could have it. Dicky put it on, along with the kid’s baseball hat, and said, “Now do I look like a college kid?” In return for the shirt, Dicky pulled off his tie and gave it to the student. Not bad at all.
Another thing I really liked about these guys was that Dicky tried his best to come down off stage to give the microphone out for kids to sing along. Not even the Dropkick Murphy’s did that. So it’s obvious that Mr. Barrett is quite the down to earth kind of guy who actually gives a damn about the kids he’s performing for.
They closed with their huge hit “The Impression That I Get” sending the crowd into chaos. By the end of the song, I realized that the Bosstones were a great pick for headlining our concert. And after such an awesome performance, I just might be inspired to pick up their upcoming release, “A Jackknife To A Swan,” due out on July 9th on Side One Dummy Records. I suggest you all to do the same.
And I already can’t wait for Fordham’s Spring Concert 2003.