Monday, September 28, 2009

Review - Flogging Molly concert

Last weekend, Lynette and I went to see Flogging Molly at In The Venue. We did a quick dinner at the nearby Gateway food court and then headed to the club to wait in line for the doors to open.

The line was wrapped around the block when we got there but we still made it in about 20 minutes before the first band took the stage. We went with Lynette's dad, stepmom and sisters and we were all pretty stoked for the show. It's wild the sort of demographic this band brings. Our own group spanned about ~20 years...taking the entire crowd as a whole there were some kids there who looked like they were 10 or 12 and some adults who were likely in their 60s. It makes sense since the band itself spans a wide age range and has a sound that appeals to a wide audience. It just felt more strange since we were in a dark bar rather than at some big concert hall where I've normally seen that sort of concert going diversity.

The first act was a band called Fitz and the Tantrums. They vaguely reminded me of a cross between a ~20s/30s swing band and a 60s/70s lounge band. They had a fun feel and a decent sound. They had a lot of energy and helped get the crowd excited for the fun to come.

Following Fitz, a band called Hepcat took the stage. While it's tough to exactly classify Fitz, it's even harder to classify Hepcat. They are somewhere between ska, rock, island, soul, reggae, jazz, and probably many other genres I'm not familiar with. They also had a ton of energy and were a lot of fun to watch perform and to bounce along with. Their sound was a lot of fun and they got the crowd even more.

The place was really packed by now. We were standing on a box right next to the security gate to move from the "non-drinking" side to the "bar" side of the club. While we waited for the final setup for Flogging Molly, we had a lot of fun watching people try to cut in line for the bar, or try to sneak past security or pass off fake IDs. Later in the night, there was even more fun at the security gate…a few people were escorted out…a couple of fighters got a stern talking to and settled down so they could go back in. It was a nice sideshow. :)

Finally, a new backdrop was put into place on the stage (an illuminated starry night over a ship) and the crowd went wild as Flogging Molly took the stage. As much fun as I have with their music, I only know maybe 5 or 6 of their songs, so I can't tell you all the songs they included in their set…but they did play for 2-3 hours and it was KILLER!

If you haven't heard Flogging Molly before, you really need to hop over to their site and listen to some of their stuff. They're a punk band with a definitive Celtic/Irish sound and a TON of energy. The crowd was a gigantic mosh pit for probably 80% or more of the show complete with some awesome crowd surfing and wild excitement. Even when they slowed things down for more ballad-feeling songs, there was still a powerful energy in the house.

The lead singer, Dave King, took plenty of opportunities to chat with the crowd and get everybody pumped up about the songs and the state of the world. He's a crazy character…wild and very colorful. As Lynette's dad pointed out, he definitely had a colorful vocabulary. We all decided that it's almost lyrical to hear an Irishman swear. :)

They were good enough to come back onstage for an Encore after their "final" set…they played 2-3 songs as an encore and then told us how F-ing awesome we were and sent us into the night.

This was a great concert and it was a ton of fun to see these guys live. They had an amazing energy and we all had a great time. I acknowledge that Flogging Molly won't appeal to everybody, but if you check out a sample of their music and even have an inkling that you'd like it…I'd recommend you check out more. And if you get a chance to see them live, go for it…it's a show worth seeing. Lynette took a few pictures and video of the show…if they turn out well, I'll post them later.

4 stars

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