"I'd watch badminton right now if it was live on TV," jokes singer and bassist Ken Casey, who will be joined at the show by the full band — co-lead vocals Al Barr, Tim Brennan, Jeff DaRosa, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Kevin Rheault and Lee Forshner — social distanced between bases with the drums at second base.
"It beats playing at home," Casey said, telling Billboard "I didn't really enjoy watching people play on their couches. It wasn't endearing to me. It actually made me freak out more and go, 'Oh my God. Even the biggest people are screwed as well."
Dropkick Murphys have a long history with Fenway, rallying the fans for four World Series championships and headlining Fenway in 2011, while Springsteen performed the first-ever ballpark-wide concert at Fenway back in 2003.
"We're pretty pumped — we don't know the next time we're going to be able to get to play a live show so this as therapeutic for us as it is for everybody else," Casey said.
Streaming Outta Fenway also marks the first music performance without an in-person audience at a major U.S. arena, stadium or ballpark and is presented by Boston-area tech company Pega (www.pega.com), a leading provider of digital transformation software.
The band's relationship with Pega "started with them stepping up to sponsor our March 17 live stream," explains the band's manager Jeff Castelaz with Cast Management. Within 96 hours of news that the COVID-19 crisis meant the cancellation of the band's Saint Patrick's Day show, the "publicly traded Cambridge company stepped up to help a band pull off the impossible," Castelaz says. "While the backdraft of that event was still blowing, Pega’s Michael Brenner and I were talking about the Fenway event."
"We have 60-plus people working on the Fenway event," Castelaz says. "The unifying spirit is simple and clear: we want to bring joy to people all over the world, and we want to raise money for charities that help people directly and daily. For nearly 25 years, Dropkick Murphys have been on-the-spot when it comes to lending a helping hand, using their pulpit to get attention and raise money for those in need. This isn’t a new thing for them or the larger team around them."
During the live stream, a text-to-donate campaign will support three non-profits: Boston Resiliency Fund, Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity, Greater Boston. The May 29 show starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on the band’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch pages.