Flogging Molly – Trocadero Theater, Philadelphia (FEBRUARY 8, 2001)

The openers for Flogging Molly were mediocre. The first band, World/Inferno Friendship Society were good the first time I saw them at the Pontiac Grille with River City High, but this time around they didn’t impress me. The lead singer breathed fire and one of the percussionists set her cymbals aflame, but I thought they’d do more than that since they were in a bigger space (unlike the tiny Pontiac Grille stage). They still churned out some decent songs, most of which are a combination of punk and swing.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society was not as bad as the second act, Chicago’s Blue Meanies. I was told that they were a ska/punk type of band, but I didn’t hear any ska beats. I was also turned off when the lead singer sang through a bullhorn for a few songs. I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one who was turned off by them, as I noticed they hardly got any crowd reaction at all.

Finally, Flogging Molly came out and opened up with “Every Dog Has Its Day”. The song started off slow, and then the tempo got fast and whipped the mosh pit into a fury of people slam dancing and doing Irish jigs. (Flogging Molly is an Irish/Celtic folk punk band.)

The septet gave off a tremendous amount of energy, especially front man Dave King, who kept drinking from a pitcher of Guinness all night. He was a joy to watch, especially when he put down his acoustic guitar and danced during the guitar solo in “Black Friday Rule”. The bands showcased two new songs which I think were “Rebels of the Sacred Heart” and “Death Valley Queen”.

I was extremely happy when they played “Devil’s Dance Floor”, because the first time I saw Flogging Molly play back in December, they didn’t get to play it. My favorite songs, “Salty Dog, Selfish Man”, and “Life in a Tenement Square”, were played as well. The highlight of the evening was when the band played “Delilah”. When the chorus came up, the lights were turned on the audience, which prompted them to sing along. They were eventually told by security to end the show, but the crowd just kept chanting “Ole!,” wanting them to play more. I thought the concert was really over since the house lights were on, but then the band did come back on stage and closed with “Sentimental Johnny”.

Flogging Molly is one of the best live bands today. They never grow tired of playing and always keep the crowd moving.Thanks to Lauren Dayap for the review.

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