Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend a Celtic punk celebration from the comfort of your own home? Well wonder no longer! On this lovely St. Patrick’s Day, Irish-American band, Flogging Molly, lit up a stage live from Dublin, Ireland, and brought all the fun of a St. Patrick’s Day party right to you. This live stream had the vibes of being at a concert, while also viewing a lively and entertaining film. Put on and sponsored by Bushmills, this was an evening of merriment.
Prior to the start of the show, there was footage of Dave King, Bridget Regan, Dennis Casey, Nathen Maxwell, Matt Hensley, Mike Alonso and Spencer Swain all in Whelans Pub, they were jamming with each other and having a quick drink before the show. Getting ready to light up the evening ahead, this was just the preshow warm up for the band. It was almost like a small acoustic peak; they had instruments like violins, an accordion, guitars and a bodhráin (a traditional Irish drum).
As with Celtic music, this was fun, vibrant and made people want to get up and dance from the very beginning to the very end. While this stream was the perfect St. Patrick’s Day event, it will be available to be enjoyed from March 17th until March 21st.
After the preshow, there was a cutaway scene to the band on the stage of where they were about to begin the show. It looked like the show was to take place in Whelans Pub, which felt very fitting for St. Patrick’s Day. They opened with a bang with “The Likes 0f You Again” from the 2000 album Swagger. This was a high-energy song filled with excitement and really set a positive tone for the rest of the performance to come.
Something fun about Celtic music, in general, is the ability it has to tell a story from start to finish. Lyrically, all of the songs that Flogging Molly had performed were rich with imagery and story. While being full of intensity, the storytelling element is still strong. That, and each song they played, was played with palpable passion, and it made people want to raise a pint and make a toast right along with them.
Introducing this song as “this one is dedicated to a man… me!,” frontman Dave King showed that he was playful and fun as he introduced the song “Selfish Man” from the 2000 album Swagger. This was an energetic song full of syncopated beats and rhythms and was a great way to start off the show with power and vivacity. The rest of the show that was in store was sure to be great.
“Whistles the Wind,” from the 2004 album Within A Mile From Home, brought the show to the slower side. Up until this point, the show was full of those classic sounding Celtic tunes that were quick and lively. This was a moment where the music was a little on the slower side. While still keeping the energy high, the ballad was one that people could tell was one of those songs they’d be swaying to with their friends in the stands of a live show. It felt like a tune of rejoicing and letting go at the same time. It follows the fun and powerful trend of telling a tale throughout all of their music.
The song following the “Whistles the Wind” sparked the show right back up. It was “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” from the 2008 album Float. As with a few of their other tunes, the syncopated rhythm made this song fun and easily danceable.
The song “Float” (Float, 2008) had a great opening few notes. King introduced the song about staying positive and how in recent times, that can be impossible to do. This song had a few minor chords but ultimately was uplifting. The song talks about how sometimes there isn’t anything you can really do but simply “don’t sink the boat that you built to keep afloat.” This one definitely feels like a good anthem for 2020/2021 and a great reminder to keep being positive and keep your head up. Towards the middle to end of the song, the drums kick in and really emphasize the syncopation in this tune.
King sang the next song, “A Prayer for Me in Silence,” with wife Bridget Regan, from the 2011 album Speed of Darkness. Up until this point, Regan had been playing the violin, and during this song, she sang a little and also played her violin a little. This song was a little on the shorter side as compared to the others, but it showcased Regan’s soft and calming vocals, as well as her amazing violin skills.
Between every few songs, talented lead singer and guitar player Dave King would often say “cheers!” or “cheers again!” which brought back that feeling of intimate concert experiences that live streams can create. It was almost like being in a crowd at a bar watching live music again, and it was almost like a glimpse of what it’ll be like to get back to your favorite Irish pub and enjoy a night of dancing and cheers with you and your friends again someday.
The next song, “Rebels of the Sacred Heart,” from the 2000 album, Drunken Lullabies, featured Regan on the tin whistle. This song is very fun because of the various tempo’s and melody that the tin whistle has throughout the entire song. It’s clear that Regan is very skilled at several different components to this band. With the changing tempos and very intense energy of the band, they all took on this song with ease. The high spirits were present throughout the song, even though it was in the latter half of the show.
Without missing a beat or seemingly taking a breath, the band transitioned right into “The Devil’s Dance Floor” from Swagger (2000). The song was a very high-intensity tune for sure. Beginning with another tin whistle solo executed by Regan and a few tempo clicks by drummer Mike Alonso, the band’s ability to keep the energy so high at all times is astounding. It was as if they were performing for a crowded pub of people, and not just a bartender and a few crewmates.
Dave King took a minute to acknowledge the fans across the globe watching the show right before playing the calmer song, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” (from Drunken Lullabies, 2002). This song kind of brought back the idea of how cool it is to be watching a live stream all the way from Ireland with fans all over the world. The typical syncopated beat picks back up about halfway through the more calming tune. Once again, still of the highest energy throughout.
Keeping up with the rest of the show, “The Seven Deadly Sins” (from the Live At The Greek Theatre album, 2010) was one of those faster and syncopated songs that were almost like a rock- sea shanty. It was quick, it had guitar breaks, it had a violin solo, a drum feature, a little bit of everything. It sounded very on-brand for Flogging Molly. The perfect mix of all things they’re known for and energy, of course.
A fun syncopated jig, “Salty Dog” (Swagger, 2000), was a very lively song. While it was closer to the end of the show, people would never know it, as the energy was still through the roof, which proved what true performers Flogging Molly are. It’s one thing to have a song or two that’s very lively and full of excitement, but every single song they performed was a genuinely good time, and just as energetic as the last.
After all of the incredibly vigorous and fun songs that Flogging Molly had played, “So Sail On” from the 2011 album, Speed Of Darkness, was the perfect closer for the extraordinary performance they had just put on. King had mentioned that they haven’t played this song live in many years, and it was a little song of hope. Leaving the audiences across the globe with such a lovely message of “so sail on to you.”
After thanking everyone for joining them, Flogging Molly stood proudly as King had announced the mini encore they’d be putting on. They performed a mix of the songs “The Spoken Wheel” from Within A Mile From Home (2004) and “Black Friday Rule” from Swagger (2000). While “The Spoken Wheel” was a tad slower, “Black Friday Rule” was the exact opposite and brought the things back to the level of excitement that they had established throughout the show. “Black Friday Rule” featured a killer guitar solo and riff at the end of the song that was the rocking move to really go out with such a strong finish!
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Flogging Molly rocked Whelans Pub in Dublin, Ireland for an extra special treat for fans. While keeping it very fun and light, frontman of the Irish-American Celtic punk group, Dave King, would often call out “cheers” during the show. He also addressed that this show was one of the most special because they’d never done anything like it before. When live shows can resume again, Flogging Molly will be ready to light up the stage with their vibrant personalities and catchy jigs. Cheers!
The Spoken Wheel/Black Friday Rule