Irish mayhem: bagpipes and mosh pits

Rebecca Castagna

The Dropkick Murphys and Black 47 concert on Sept. 28 afforded students, community members, faculty and staff a unique opportunity to be a part of the new Great Hunger Museum opening, scheduled for Oct. 11. The concert featured fast-paced music, electronic bagpipes, crowd surfing, new songs and a bit of Irish history.

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Although some students were skeptical that they could get “something for nothing,” many took a chance, resulting in a substantial audience turnout for the evening.

For sophomore Mark Spillane, the availability of free tickets initially cast some doubt regarding the length of the show.

“I was kind of debating whether or not it would be worth going but it was actually 100 percent worth it,” Spillane said.

Spillane said most people were expecting the Dropkick Murphys’ popular song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” to be the show’s climax, but argued that the band’s AC/DC “TNT” cover stole the show.

“When they dropped ‘TNT’ everyone went crazy,” he said. “That was really the pinnacle of the whole thing.”

Though longtime Dropkick Murphys fan senior Marc Schwartz enjoyed the concert as well, he felt the use of security at the venue was disappointing.

“I understand that it’s a private university and maybe the school is liable for any injuries, but I couldn’t believe that they had security breaking up mosh pits inside general admission,” Schwartz said.

During the show, audience members had the chance to win several raffle prizes including the always popular Quinnipiac vs. Yale ice hockey tickets, as well as a weeklong trip for two to Ireland, sponsored by Tourism Ireland.

Sophomore Michelle Ayrapetyan was the winner of the Ireland trip.

“Prior to them calling the number, I was joking around saying, ‘I have the ticket! I have the ticket,’” Ayrapetyan said. “So when they called and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me,’ no one believed it.”

Ayrapetyan says she is in shock but is grateful to Tourism Ireland for the opportunity. As for her plus one, Ayrapetyan plans to ask her mother.

“[My mom] would really love to go so I want to make her happy,” she said.

Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program Kathy Cooke said she appreciated the inclusion of the historical content regarding the Irish Famine, including the direct reference to the famine in the opening act’s name, Black 47.

According to Cooke, the addition of a musical aspect to the “traditional” ribbon cuttings and lectures was a “fabulous way” to raise awareness about the museum opening.

“I think it brought in an entirely different group who might not otherwise have realized what was going on with Quinnipiac’s exciting new museum,” she said.