Saturday, March 11, 2006

Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly
The Fillmore, San Francisco
March 10, 2006

I am NOT making this up: On the way to the show, the trip counter on Timo's car hit 66.6 miles as we came to a stop at a traffic light on Van Ness Ave.. El Diablo has wicked timing!

Another example of the Music Geek Circle Of Life: 23 years ago Timo and I saw Dave King front the band Fastway (featuring original Motörhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke) open for Iron Maiden. To be blunt, they were painfully average... but it's cool that Dave King grew up like the rest of us and found his calling.

Umlaut is a sucker for the Irish "Doodle-Lee-Do" music (as Skychick calls it). As I've told Skychick countless times, I think I was Irish in another life. I've identified with that culture way too profoundly in my life. From a Music Geek point of view, Thin Lizzy and The Pogues are a couple of my all-time favorite bands, but one of my most magical Irish Music Geek moments was watching some local musicians in a packed and smoky pub in Dingle, Ireland once. Magic I tell! Two trips to Ireland over the years solidified my feelings about all things Eire.

Umlaut at The Burren, County Clare, Ireland

As we entered the venue, I couldn't help but remember that The Pogues played The Fillmore 18 years ago at the height of their greatness. Also, I don't think I've ever seen a merch line as enormous at The Fillmore before.. Flogging Molly sold ALOT of merch. ALOT. The harried look on the Merch Girl's face said it all.

I ordered a Sierra Nevada but the waitress brought me an Anchor Steam. All I wanted was a Sierra Nevada, just one Sierra Nevada, and SHE WOULDN'T GIVE IT TO ME! Just a Sierra Nevada. Wait, what do you mean, what are you talking about, WE decided?! MY best interest?! How can YOU know what MY best interest is?? I'm not crazy.. You're the one that's crazy (Institutionalized).

I've really come to love Flogging Molly. They're an example of everything I look for in a band to be a Music Geek over: Good musicianship, an edginess, charisma, and a sense of humor. The crowd was an interesting mix of Liberty-spiked punks and middle aged couples. It was cool... and when the ginormous pit started up as the band launched into their first song there was no generation gap at all.

The white-haired older couple standing next to me were obviously fans as they reacted to the band coming onstage, but the looks on their faces as the ginormous pit opened up on the floor was priceless. It was obvious they were seeing something they'd never seen before, but in a good way. That kind of energy level between the band > audience is something you don't see very often. Flogging Molly are one of THE best live acts, and it's because of the rapport they have with their fans.

As with the merch line, I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen crowd action as frenzied at The Fillmore. The Pit took up most of the floor, but it was Old School Punk and not Nu Metal Jock. Frenzied but not violent. It was a more intense pit then I've seen at the last 3 Slayer shows I've attended, but in a good way.

It made my heart smile when a kid was knocked out of The Pit and the smiling middle aged couple helped him back to his feet and sent him on his way back to the frenzy. On top of the pit action, the crowd sang along to every song as well. Nicely done, lads and lassies.

Obviously Flogging Molly fills the longtime vacuum created by the demise of The Pogues..and Dog bless 'em for it! Yeah, The Pogues have reunited with Shane for a tour this year, but have you seen Shane recently?! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!! The man has no teeth, dontcha know!

Guinness shirts seen = I lost count. If you bought one of every Flogging Molly merch item you would have paid $417. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fookin' faggots. A thousand years of English oppression sure inspired some great music out of Eire over the years, dinnit?