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Flogging Molly a real good craic in Atlanta for St. Patrick’s Day celebration

Flogging Molly kicked off their 10th Green 17 tour in Atlanta on Saturday night in front of a packed house at the Tabernacle. Led by Dave King, they’ve lost none of the energy, enthusiasm and complete musical mayhem that die-hard fans say has characterized the previous nine Green 17 tours.

Dave King of Flogging Molly at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, February 15, 2014
Photography by Andrew Snook

Like other celtic punk bands here in the United States they’re gearing up to the annual street party that St. Patrick’s Day has become. What distinguishes Flogging Molly from all the other touring bands gearing up for March 17 when everybody pretends to be Irish is that Dave King actually is! He’d prefer to drink Guinness rather than green beer!

The authenticity that King brings to the celtic punk that he and Flogging Molly play is based upon his life in Ireland before he moved to the United States and the anecdotes, recollections and songs he shares about that time, and it’s that authenticity that really resonates.

When he refers to the Six Nations championship and the fact that the Irish don’t like the English either on or off the rugby pitch you know he means it! When he sings of life in a tenement square in Dublin you know he’s lived it! It’s that genuineness that sets Flogging Molly apart. Even Shane MacGowan has to pretend to be Irish!

Fresh from a tour of the U.K. and Europe, Flogging Molly only arrived back in the country yesterday but they showed no signs of jet lag as they led the crowd through an energy-packed set that has become their trademark. A full-on “balls to the wall” concert experience that lasted almost two hours included many of their biggest hits while playing some newer music too.

Flogging Molly’s influences weigh heavily on their musical style. Most obviously the Pogues have probably had the biggest influence on Flogging Molly’s sound. Like MacGowans’ Pogues, Flogging Molly relies heavily on more traditional Irish folk musical instruments like the accordion, fiddle, acoustic guitar and tin whistle to create the sound that drives and underpins their music. While a bass guitar and drums provide the rhythm section.

While those instruments create much of the sound the high-energy punk style of their music and its lyrics gives it the hard edge. With those two prominent influences the music becomes almost chaotic such is its energy and the audience loved it.

It’s obvious the band has a great time on stage interacting with each other and the crowd. King broke into the soccer chant “Ole, Ole, Ole” and complained that the Irish wouldn’t have a chance to sing that in Brazil at this year’s World Cup. He suggested that the Americans would have do it for him. The crowd roared their approval and started chanting “U.S.A. U.S.A.” in response.

At one point in the concert I thought I heard King say that this would be the last Green 17 tour. It seemed like they were all having way too good a time for them call it quits. If that’s the case you should go see them on this tour. A real good craic will be had by all!

Set list

Wailing Wall
Paddy’s Lament
Every Dog
Whistles The Wind
Drunken Lullabies
Tenement Square
Saints and Sinners
Requiem For A Dying Song
Son Never Shines
Present State of Grace
Us Of Lesser Gods
Tobacco Island
Rare Old Times
Devil’s Dance Floor
Likes of You
Salty Dog
What’s Left Of The Flag
Rise Up


Black Friday Rule
Seven Deadly Sins
World Alive

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