Written by Bill Whiting – [email protected]
Presenting a unique mix of folk, celtic and punk rock, Los Angeles based unit Flogging Molly took the stage before a packed house at Cincinnati’s Bogarts on March 9, and launched into “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” from the 2008 release, Float. Taking part of their name from the Molly Malones L.A. night club that the band paid early dues in, Flogging Molly seemed perfectly at ease in the bawdy, bashing surroundings that enveloped the interiors of Bogarts. Dublin native and acoustic guitarist/ front man Dave King danced about the stage as the ensemble pounded through “Salty Dog” from 2000’s stellar disc, Swagger. Fiddle player Bridget Regan stood behind King most of the night, but her presence on the tunes “The Worst Day Since Yesterday” and the powerhouse “Punch Drunk Grinning Soul” was felt deeply inside Flogging Molly’s sound mix. The rhythm duo of drummer George Schwindt and bassist Nathen Maxwell controlled the direction of the whisper to a scream fire breathing songs such as “Drunken Lullabies” and “Requiem for a Dying Song.” Mandolinist Bob Schmidt joined King to energize one the evening’s best numbers, the poignant yet philosophical and uplifting acoustic based title track from the Float album. Lead guitarist Dennis Casey stole the spotlight with a searing solo on the bracing masterwork, “The Lightning Storm.” Flogging Molly coalesced around the ode to King’s father, “The Likes of You Again,” and the Cincinnati crowd joyously shouted the lyrics back toward the stage. As King accurately referenced, it was another outstanding and memorable performance from the celtic punk standard bearers that ended up being embraced warmly as a pre St. Patty’s day celebration by the Queen city faithful.