The LC Pavillion hosted a show to be remembered on Friday night when Flogging Molly with Clutch and The Drowning Men came to Columbus. Not to be outdone, Mother Nature herself showed up and the results was a fantastic mix of music, rain, lightening and dancing.
The Drowning Men opened the show in the sweltering heat. A mix of rock, some Celtic-punk and organ-laced revival music the band put on a decent set in the heat (a blessing to be realized just a bit later) but failed to connect, or even speak to the crowd. Perhaps that is part of the image, or maybe they were just hung-over, but the crowd connection should never be overlooked.
As The Drowning Men finished their set a soft rain began, first just lightly cooling off the crowd it soon turned into an all-out downpour that sent some of the crowd running for cover. It kept coming for nearly an hour the harsh, cold rain pummeled the crowd, and delayed the Clutch start time for 45 minutes, the crowd watched as members of the crew tried desperately to keep instruments and equipment dry while lightening blazed across the sky.
Eventually Clutch came to the stage and the some of the scattered crowd emerged from their various covers to dance and sing in the rain. A solid performance Clutch sounded great, slightly marred by technical issues (losing a channel in the first half of the set) likely brought on the downpour but they wound up the wet, chilled crowd. Much dancing and singing occurred but the real fun was the mosh pit, even with the painful rain bearing down the pit was a furious mix of hands, feet and water. Stopping the set when the lightening was particularly heavy and close to the LC the 30-minute break did not stop the crowd from jumping back in with gusto when Clutch returned.
As Clutch wrapped up the second-half of their set and left the stage the rain finally seemed to back off, lightening to a very fine drizzle and then finally ceasing completely but with lightning lighting the sky and threatening to bring more rain. Flogging Molly took their time getting to the stage as the crew struggled a bit to clear water and ensure equipment was working properly. During this time the sun set completely, and the crowds returned en masse in anticipation of the show, some at this point were very well lubricated and most were wet and chilled.
When the lights went down and the acoustic intro came on all the cold and the wet and the waiting was lost on the crowd. Instantly electricity jumped from person to person and then up to the stage; known for their boisterous and engaging live performances Flogging Molly deliver a show worth seeing and Friday night was no exception.
The set was a fabulous mixture of old and new, with several songs off the new album Speed of Darkness. Dave King spoke openly and honestly about the inspiration for the album “So many friends and family have lost their jobs recently, how many of you have lost your jobs in the past few months?” he asked just before the opening chords of “Revolution” rang out. Later he explained graffiti scrawled across a factory in Detroit provided the inspiration for the song “Don’t Shut’Em Down” a driving number which chronicles the downfall of a large city devastated by a recession, largely influenced by the City of Detroit where King and his wife Bridget Regan own a home and where Speed of Darkness, their most recent studio album, was recorded.
Mid-way through the set the band slowed down a bit for “The Wanderlust” (dedicated to service men and women), “So Sail On” and “Factory Girls” (dedicated to Dave King’s mother). Normally this would be a welcome transition in the show but much of the crowd was at this point very wet, and very cold and without some music fit for dancing began to shiver in the cold night air. Perhaps sensing this Dave announced just prior to moving into the second-half of the set “Now let’s get our dancing shoes ready!” The second-half included “Black Friday Rule” “Rebels of the Sacred Heart” and “Devils Dance Floor” and the pit began swirling in a frenzy. The crowd was moving and clapping again, soon warm and joyous as the music gained momentum. As the set continued fans of new and old were not disappointed by the raucous show pouring out music and good cheer onto the crowd.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a singular draw to Flogging Molly and for everyone there is was likely something different as all ages, lifestyle and nationalities were represented in the crowd. Perhaps it is the connection with the workingman that helps propel Flogging Molly forward and solidifies their fan’s adoration and support. Constant touring and never-ending enthusiasm certainly doesn’t hurt, and just like on St. Patrick’s Day everyone at the Flogging Molly show was a little bit Irish.
Be sure to check for tour dates at www.floggingmolly.com as well as keep up on upcoming projects and appearances. This is a show not to be missed.
Flogging Molly are:
Dave King: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bodhran
Dennis Casey: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Matthew Hensley: Accordion, Concertina, Piano, Vocals
Nathen Maxwell: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Bridget Regan: Violin, Tin Whistle, Classical Guitar, Uilleann Pipes, Vocals
Robert Schmidt: Mandolin, Mandola, Tenor Banjo, Five String Banjo, Vocals
George Schwindt: Drums, Percussion
Written by Meredith Underhill