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“Streaming Outta Fenway”

Nook Schoenfeld • Event ProductionJuly 2020Online Exclusive • July 8, 2020

The band members took up position around the infield.

Dropkick Murphys Take the Field with a Helping Hand from The Boss and Mindpool Live

Following the success of the Dropkick Murphy’s hometown St. Patrick’s Day streaming performance (PLSN, April 2020, page 5), the band’s Streaming Outta Fenway gig marked the first-ever music event without a live audience to be held at a major U.S. venue. It also marked the first time any musical act has ever played on the infield at Boston’s legendary baseball park.

The event was held on May 29 and featured a “Double Play,” with their longtime friend Bruce Springsteen helping out remotely for a couple songs. Towards the end of the show, vocalist Ken Casey asked the viewing audience, “Is New Jersey in the house?” And there was Springsteen, on the Mitsubishi Diamond Vision screen, ready for his first plugged-in, full-band performance since the country was locked down. The two joined together to cover DKMs’ “Rose Tattoo” as well as Bruce’s “American Land.” The event received more than 9 million views worldwide, raising money for charity.

Springsteen appears on the screen

Pega (Pegasystems), a local software company, inked a deal with the band to produce both their St. Patrick’s Day and Fenway livestream events. Streaming Outta Fenway raised more than $700,000 for charities including The Boston Resiliency Fund, Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston. Pega aided the charity event by donating a generous $51,000 as well as matching another $100,000 donated by fans.

The concert was hailed as a success by viewers from all over the world who tuned into the streams that could be found on the Dropkick Murphys’ Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch pages along with the livestream on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio channel. The event also streamed via RedSox.com, MLB.com, NESN.com, USO, Vulture and more.

Aerial Shot from a drone

The show kicked off with an introduction from longtime Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione, while Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor accompanied him remotely. The band themselves — Al Barr (co-lead vocals), Tim Brennan (guitars, accordion, mellotron, whistles, vocals), Ken Casey (co-lead vocals), Jeff DaRosa (banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica, acoustic guitars, vocals), Matt Kelly (drums, percussion, vocals), James Lynch (guitar, vocals), Kevin Rheault (touring bassist) and Lee Forshner (touring bagpipe player) — lined up around the infield, allowing for more that the recommended six feet of social distance. The drums were set up behind second base, and the two vocalists roamed the grass by the pitcher’s mound.

Brought in to direct the video for the event was Josh Adams from Mindpool Live, a Milwaukee-based video production company. Adams had directed two of the band’s previous concert films and was a natural to slide into this slot. PLSN caught up with him for some words on this event and how he got involved.

“I got a call from the band’s manager, Jeff Castelaz, with an idea about the band doing something different at Fenway,” Adams begins. “I had shot a couple full length features with them over the years, including a two-night stand they did at Fenway with a proper stage and audience years ago.” Adams adds that Jeff also happens to hail from Milwaukee, although he is now based in L.A.

Josh Adams (Director), Dan Albert (Engineer), Megan Brandenburger (Robo Cam Operator), Darren Cole (Co-Producer).

“They had an idea to do this live stream from Fenway, but they didn’t really know how,” Adams continues. “We batted around several ideas, such as bringing in a stage, but we wanted something more clever. With the amount of band members, it turned out perfectly that we could just spread them out as baseball infield positions — well, if you consider the center fielder is playing at the edge of second base. We were able to line the infield with some stage monitors for audio, and the two singers kept to either side of the pitcher’s mound. What really made it great was just using the field lights. The camera shots capturing the musicians resembles what the fans might see while watching a ball game.”

Adams worked hand-in-hand with the folks at Fenway, including the use of four of their cameras. For placement, Josh stationed one wireless camera on a tripod, behind home plate. During breaks in the action (for calls for donations, separate videos, etc.) that cameraman relocated to behind second base. Cameras were positioned in each dugout to get cross shots of the players and side shots of the vocalists. A fourth camera was placed in the “high home” position, the standard baseball slot located behind home base.

“Our Vectorworks guy, Jamieson Filip, worked up a few renderings to depict what we could do. Working with the Fenway folks required a few zoom meetings and some decisions to be made concerning camera angles and lensing. It was deemed that I would use their switcher to cut cameras for the live feed, and of course use their giant LED wall for the portion Bruce played with them. We had a maximum of 35 people allowed in the stadium for the event. That included the band, their backline crew, the Mindpool crew, four stagehands and the staff from Fenway.”

Adams brought a minimum amount of kit from his own shop. This included a video fascia that went around the drum riser as well as half a dozen Panasonic PTZ robocams. “I had grabbed the cameras we normally use on the Foo Fighters tour and brought them along. This allowed me to have a POV shot of each band member.”

In addition, two drones (along with their pilots) were brought in to capture additional angled shots. “We used one to circle the infield while flying low,” Adams notes. “The other one went up as high as 450 feet — that was our flight clearance level. It handles the periphery shots. This came out great when the band launched into the 1960s hit, “Dirty Water,” by the Standells,” Adams adds. “The drone captured imagery of the Charles River as well as downtown Boston, before flying back into Fenway. It was an awesome shot.”

Josh and his team are working on something else special for July. A NDA prevented them disclosing what that will be before this issue went to press, but PLSN will be sure to cover that as well. Until then, Adams says, of the DKM lockdown livestream gigs, “This whole concept was great and turned out well, raising money for great causes. We would love to see other artists taking over their local ballparks in a similar way. It’s a great way to help the world and have fun playing music. There are a lot of folks sitting at home that are starved for entertainment and a lot of charities that could use some help.”

Josh Adams (Director)

Streaming Outta Fenway: Dropkick Murphys at Fenway Park

Band and Crew*

(* Not all were onsite, but all contributed to this production)

  • Band Members: Al Barr, Tim Brennan, Ken Casey, Jeff DaRosa, James Lynch, Matt Kelly, Lee Forshner, Kevin Rheault
  • Executive Producers: Ken Casey, Jeff Castelaz, Josh Adams
  • Producers/Associate Producers: Chris Phillips, Sean Dore, Amy Decker, Sandi Anderson Adams, Darren Cole, Ryan Lemire-Gonzalez, Jamieson Filip
  • Director: Josh Adams
  • Ballpark Announcer: Joe Castiglione
  • Fenway Organist: Josh Kantor
  • Poster & Video Graphics: Jason Lowery
  • Dropkick Murphys Crew: Evan Tolonen, tour manager; Greg “Grizz” Middleton, production manager; Pete Robertson, FOH engineer; Jon Marcantonio, stage manager/monitor engineer; Jay Cannava, Dave Stauble, guitar techs; Scott Tkachuk, Connor Riley, UltraSound; Greg Allen, Pro Tools operator; Luke Buckbee, Shawn Flores, Mike Kadomiya, Ethan Chase, stagehands.
  • Cast Management: Jeff Castelaz, Amy Decker, Sean Dore, Chris Phillips, Benton Oliver, Amanda Harrison
  • Bruce Springsteen Team: Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, managers; Rob Lebret, audio engineer; Thom Zimny, director
  • Pega Team: Michael Brenner, Tom Libretto, Alex Nicholson, Lisa Pintchman, Don Schuerman, Alan Trefler
  • Mindpool Live Team: Dan Albert, EiC; Megan Brandenburger, robo op/engineer; Jovan Tanasijevic, Juan Navarro, Jacob Ballin, Fenway drone operators; Schuyler Ortega, city drone operator; Jeff “Slim” Richard, technical logistics manager; Darren Cole, Alexandria Fernandes, video editors; Chet Miller, graphics operator; Marci Pelzer, publicist
  • Fenway Park Team: John Carter, Fenway house producer; Steve Roman, technical director; Jason Notermann, engineer; Tami Nguyen, shader; Mike Testa, house audio/E2 operator; Luke Fraser, LED/encoding tech engineer; Stacey Lamboni, crossfire operator; Pete Zamachaj, CJ Dudek, camera operators

For more information on Mindpool Live, go to www.mindpoollive.com. For a behind-the-scenes video of this event, go to www.plsn.me/DKM-MPL . For more info on the Dropkick Murphys and Streaming Outta Fenway, go to www.dropkickmurphys.com.

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