Flogging Molly /The Supersuckers – The Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Or (March 28, 2003)

WOW! What a performance! I have never been let down yet, out of the dozen or so times I have seen Flogging Molly. That’s why I think they are the best band out there at the moment. Remember this folks, You, and I, are both involved in something important. We are the fans who are involved in the most important band in music. We proudly cheer them on like the true fans we are. Take a look at MTV, take a listen to the so-called “Alternative” radio stations, read the Top Ten “Alternative” Charts. Do you notice anything? I do. I notice it’s all shite. It’s all bland, heartless, and dull. For the most part the music out there sucks. I’m glad to admit I have nothing to do with it. The most of the music covered in here, (Shite’n’Onions) on the other hand, is full of life, full of heart, and has a pulse that beats like a fucking machine gun.
As a fan of Flogging Molly, I am here to share my experience of a recent show here in Portland, Oregon. Sure, it’s not the mecca of the free world, but it’s an important location for Flogging Molly. It’s one of the first locations outside of California that Flogging Molly played. (finally, the west coast got a break!) It’s also a town that has an original solid fan base for the band since day one. A few years ago, Flogging Molly first came up here and played on a stage that was about the size of my doorstep.(for those with tape measures, my doorstep is very,very tiny.) To steal an old slogan describing The Clash back in the ’80’s, Flogging Molly has grown into the 21st century’s version of “The Only Band That Matters.” Now I may be a wee bit off base with that comment…I’m sure you’re smart enough to see that i’m not exactly serious, but i’m not exactly joking either. (In other words, I sure hope you see what I mean.) Starting up at Molly Malone’s, and those days of playing on small stages the size of doorsteps, to the moment they finally sold out a mid-size venue, The Crystal Ballroom, a few days ago. (They also sold out in Seattle the night before, and a few more venues across the country.) Who really knows how big this band may get. Who really cares? As long as they continue to play the type of songs they play, I could care less!

Speaking of big, at this show, I saw many, many, more fans this time around. Tons more. Sure, not everyone sang all the words of every song like some of the previous shows did, but the important thing is that they were there. All of them, all wide eyed, laughing, and generally having a great fucking time. People from just about every walk of life showed up.Old and young. From the paddypunk fans jigging, to the hardcore fans slamming, side by side, arm over arm. From the somewhat normal-looking fans at their first FM show, not knowing the words, to the seasoned veterans screaming the lyrics louder than Dave, side by side, arm over arm. It was a great thing to see, especially nowadays. When people ask me about a Flogging Molly show, I tell ’em it’s quite possibly the best show I have ever seen. The crowd has the energy much like a football (soccer) match. The only difference is everyone is rooting for the same team! How great is that? Every person I saw fall down in the pit, never hit the ground. Two, sometimes three, fans helped them up before they even had a chance to hit the floor and get trampled. Before the show at the pub downstairs, I talked with an older Irish gentleman who was a big time Dubliners fan. He told me he was a bit intimidated by the whole experience he was about to witness. I told him when he was at those early Dubliners shows in the 60’s, the older guys felt just like he did tonight. It’s just the passing of the torch, so to speak. I wonder what he thought of The Supersuckers?

Speaking of The Supersuckers, I was glad they got to open the show. (Throw Rag actually opened the show, but I was downstairs still talking to the Irish guy about The Dubliners.) I hadn’t seen The Supersuckers in about 7 or 8 years, when they opened for Bad Religion, and blew them off stage! I knew that couldn’t happen this paticular evening, but it was nice to see those jokers on the stage “spreadin’ the evil” with those cowboy hats, & the cheesy two-horns-up finger salutes. The Supersuckers released an album a while back called “Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ ” And they still rock. Some of the tracks they played included “Bad,Bad,Bad”, “Pretty Fucked Up”, “Born With A Tail”, and plenty of others. Sure I wish The Tossers (who opened up at some mid-west gigs) could have made it out west, but The Supersuckers, were good enough for me. And when it comes down to it…When Flogging Molly hits town, no other band matters!

Review by Brian Gillespie

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