Flogging Molly Electrifies at the Vogue
There are certain bands you need to see live at least once. Steely Dan certainly fits the bill, so do the Stones. And so does Flogging Molly, who knocked ’em dead at the Vogue on the 26th. Honestly, I could gush about them for the next five paragraphs. But I think I’ll limit myself and save us all that embarrassment. Just know that my final verdict is overwhelmingly positive.
Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Vogue
The show that night was a three-act bill, and a diverse one at that. Granted, all the musicians occupied some sector of the punk sphere, but that’s actually a pretty varied place. If you don’t believe me, just do a brief search on punk sub-genres and tell me I’m wrong. Anyway, the diversity worked very much in the show’s favor, creating an environment that defied expectations.
As a folk punk fan from way back (as long as 2013 counts as way back), I couldn’t wait to see this show. I mean, one of my favorite bands doing what they do best live? Oh, yes, please!
They took a little while getting on the stage, but well worth the wait. Flogging Molly took the stage with aplomb. And they rocked. There wasn’t a still pair of feet in the Vogue once Flogging Molly started playing.
I wasn’t worried about any discrepancies between their live and studio sound. After all, they started out as a live act and if what I heard is anything to go by, they haven’t forgotten their roots. Flogging Molly knows how to play a crowd almost as well as they know how to play a banjo. And that’s pretty damn well.
This is going to be a brief section, fair warning. Flogging Molly is folk punk, more specifically Celtic punk, a phrase I’ve thrown around a lot in this review. Here’s what it means: it means a fusion of punk and folk. The proportion of punk to folk varies from artist to artist, and the style ranges from what is basically punk with folk instruments to folk music with punk lyrics. Flogging Molly sticks close to the middle of the spectrum. They have a punk sense of rhythm and tempo, but they tend to use folk melodies. The result is a wonderfully irreverent and powerful style that could make a corpse dance.
Flogging Molly absolutely killed it at the Vogue. There’s just no other way to say it. They gave and unflaggingly up-tempo and anarchic performance that only the stodgiest of pearl-clutchers could’ve disliked. They played a good mixture of classic material and material from their new album. Which they are on tour to promote. Hell, when they kicked out the jams and started playing “Drunken Lullabies,” I was fit to bust.
At no point was the band anything other than affable and engaging. Stage presence is an integral part of any live show, and Flogging Molly understands that very well. But then, a group of veteran performers would understand that, wouldn’t they? Yes, they would.
I was already a believer after listening to their albums in college, but Flogging Molly converted me all over again. Not many bands can claim that dubious little honor, so I guess they can consider themselves special.
All joking aside, it was a beautiful show and I hope that Flogging Molly comes back to Naptown soon.
Keep listening, everybody.