Flogging Molly, The Casualties, One Man Army – The Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR (May 9, 2002)

The hubbub was tremendous, you could tell something brilliant would happen. The buzz in the air. Flogging Molly was in town. It was a typical spring night in the Northwest….Wet as fuck and getting wetter. Just to add to the night, I was sick as hell, coughing up lung butter all week, it may have been a bad case of scurvy. I debated even going to the show, if only for a moment. Instead, I went home and took a well needed rest. I woke up well after the show had started, and realized I better get my ass down to the ballroom before I missed too much! My head was pounding, my nose running like a water hose, sickasfuckinghell, but I didn’t care! I ran up the three flights of stairs of the ballroom like a banshee howling ninja. I missed the opening band, but I was just in time to finally see The Casualties. I had heard about these guys, but never their music. I was impressed! Great NYC streetpunk. I decided to hang back, and gargle some Scotch at the bar.

Then it happened, after The Casualties finished, the crowd started chanting… Hey-Oh-hey-O-hey-O Heeeyyyy!!! Then came the foot stomping. The floor bounced. (The Crystal Ballroom used to host ballroom dancing back in the ’30, so the floor had tiny springs attached under it for an added bouncing effect) The clapping came! The crowd was intense. One of the amazing things about a Flogging Molly show is the crowd itself. Every type of person shows up at a FM show, everybody from the skaters, to the Micks sporting the derby caps, and scarves, to the punks, to the pirates. Arm over arm, chanting, stomping, clapping, drinking, dancing! Hey-Oh-hey-O-hey-Oheeeyyy! Another chant of Floggginggg Mollllyyy! Hooligan football style. I ran up into the front of the crowd. This was something you’d typically see at a World Cup qualifer match, not a FM show in Portland, Oregon!!! They lowered the FM banner, and it was on!

“Drunken Lullabies” opened the set and the we went beserk. It was folllowed by “Selfish Man” Dave was in great form tonight.Then, “What’s Left Of The Flag”, “If I Ever Leave This World” The brilliant song about “County Kilburn” in London, “The Kilburn High Road”, “Rebels Of A Sacred Heart”,and then one of my favs, “Another Bag Of Bricks”, “Worst Day Since Yesterday” And then came the greatest crowd pleaser…..”Devil’s Dance Floor”! The Bodies flying over me, & falling under me,i was pickin’ em up and throwing them around again! The slamming! Hell Yes!! It may have been the devil’s dance floor, but I was in bliss! It was one of those rare shows when you really feel alive, and glad to have witnessed it. (Cheesy, but true! John, you can edit this part if you like! – NEVER!!!!) My cold was fucking gone! Hey-O-hey-o-hey-Heeeeyyyy! They also played “The Worst Day Since Yesterday”, “Delila” (with horn!), “Black Friday Rule”, “Salty Dog” (my fav)” and “Sentimental Johnny” I could have stayed home sick and miserable, but I decided to go and enjoy one of the greatest bands live, who can also cure the common cold, and make you have a very, very, good night! I know I say this everytime, but I really mean it this time,…..GO SEE THEM PLAY LIVE!! They will be THE band to see at the upcoming Warped Tour!!

Review by Brian “Cured” Gillespie