Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA documents The Dropkick Murphys 2009 St. Patrick's Day celebrations, in much the same way that previous live album Live on St. Patrick's Day did. Live on Lansdowne however, contains none of the songs featured on that album, and so from the get-go offers fans absolute value for money.
Live albums can often be hit and miss. At best, they're an energetic run through of some of your favourite tunes and a chance to relive a great gig. At worst, they can offer lifeless renditions of songs you already own, with the odd bum note thrown in for good measure. Live on Lansdowne, for the most part falls into the former category, with songs like Sunshine Highway and Citizen C.I.A taking on a new life and really shining at their sing-along best.
The Dropkick Murphys use of Celtic instruments I think is perhaps an acquired taste. Where bagpipes, tin whistles and banjos are often not found in punk rock, the Murphys (for the most part) make it work, and I put it down to personal taste - I've always hated the sound of bagpipes - that I feel that the pipes take something away from tracks like (F)Lannigan's Ball and The State of Massachusetts. These songs, even without the gimmicky instruments, would have been fantastic punk songs, which is what the Murphys do best.
Adding to the fantastic value of this live package, is a high quality DVD of the show. It features exactly the same set list as the CD with two bonus cuts. This is a well filmed (and played) show which really gives you the whole Dropkick Murphys live experience in full. You get an energetic show, with a lot of crowd interaction, as well as traditional Irish dancing, which I personally didn't really enjoy, but some might - It was Saint Patrick 's Day after all and I can't fault them for getting in the spirit.
Overall, as a starting point into the Murphys extensive back catalogue, Live on Lansdowne does a good job of showcasing some of their best moments. The closing cut of I'm Shipping up To Boston with special guests The Mighty Mighty Bosstones even comes close to surpassing the original recording.
If you have something against live albums on the whole, this probably won't change your opinion much, but if you want an action packed Dropkick Murphys CD, this is well worth getting.