Flogging Molly February 17, 2013 House of Blues
Damn, I wish I was Irish.
So does half of Houston, apparently, judging by last night's sold out Flogging Molly concert at House of Blues.
Thanks to the salty sea-dog opener Skinny Lister (who deserve much more than my little mention; they were ridiculously entertaining), the crowd was bouncing and pushing before frontman Dave King and company ever made it on stage.
The Who's "Baba O'Riley" blared over the speakers during the interlude and forced the crowd into an impromptu dance party, and an idiot throwing Pabst cans riled up the crowd, which was already bordering on the point of explosion.
Flogging Molly, LA's seven-person Celtic punk band, who blend traditional Celtic, Irish, and Folk with ridiculously loud and boisterous punk music, create a sound that is super-charged with energy, and last night was no anomaly. When they hit the stage, they were definitely loud.
Immediately breaking into fan favorites like "Paddy's Lament" and "Drunken Lullabies", Molly definitely knew what their fans were looking for and gave it to them by the fistful.
With Dennis Casey on electric guitar, Nathen Maxwell on bass, Bridget Regan on violin (and tin whistle -- she's so cute), Matthew Henley on the accordion, Robert Schmidt bustin' out the banjo and George Schwindt beating on the drums, the band could seemingly do no wrong, despite alternating from a lower key acoustic set into much rowdier numbers mid set.
For almost two hours, Molly ran through their hits, including some numbers that hadn't been touched for many years, while fans crowd surfed and attempted to Celtic dance while simultaneously bouncing en masse. (I'll give ya'll an A for effort on the Celtic dancing, but to be honest, Houston, it might be time for some lessons. I think it involves a little more than kicking your legs out wildly while aiming at the asses of the people in front of you.)
Tracks like "Requiem for a Dying Song" led the crowd into an all-out singalong of mass proportion, with the crowd screaming the lyrics along with Dave, who was more than happy to share the duties.
As a frontman, he obviously loves the stage, engaging the crowd and chatting between sets, and he seemed less than bothered by the continuous throngs of fans trying to make their way to the stage. His punk roots were showing, even after 15 years in this gig with Molly.
The audience fed off the energy from the band hard; beer showers and projectile objects made the concert feel like I was on a freakin' Viking ship at points, the sea of people moving like waves as they bobbed along with "Float" and "The Lightning Storm".
Y'all pillaged and plundered that shit, Houston.
I've never seen so many people get thrown out of a venue. The security at HOB was busy as hell, pushing past me at rapid speed to remove those naughty rule-breakers.
I've also never seen such bad dancing. I'm guessing it was because we all tried to keep up with the Irish drinking that should go along with tracks like these. Most of us didn't succeed.
Houstonians trying to drink and dance like they're Irish might be a little hard to pull of in a crowd of that proportion. I'll give us bonus points for trying, but perhaps we should tone it down on St. Patty's Day this year to make up for all of last night's sins.
"The Power's Out" was a stand out for me, with King using a megaphone and no-frills to push the song into an angry, top-of-the-lungs anthem that forced the already hyped crowd into overdrive. So was "Rebels of the Sacred Heart", with the crowd nearly overpowering Dave's vocals with their chanting.
The acoustic set was fantastic, opening with "Wanderlust", but despite the toned down level of the band during the set, the crowd kept up their energy at Duracell levels.
It's cool, though; I'll be a wallflower for Flogging Molly any day. Although I'm happy to stay in the midst of the chaos, I'd rather not explain a black eye from the PBR can, you silly, rowdy fools.
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Personal Bias: I force myself awake every morning with "Drunken Lullabies", so I'm borderline stalking Flogging Molly at this point.
The Crowd: Everyone. Seriously. The crowd had the pretties, the veteran punk scene, and the newcomers.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I guess I should introduce myself, since my ass is on your thigh." (That really happened. I gave her the side-eye.)
Random Notebook Dump: I'll just keep repeating to myself my new mantra: "I'm not too old. I'm not too old."