Flogging Molly Made Hollywood the 'Devil's Dance Floor' on St. Patrick's Day

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Courtney Coles
Flogging Molly onstage at the Hollywood Palladium on March 17, 2018. 

“I think Saint Patrick would be proud of us tonight,” proclaimed Flogging Molly lead vocalist Dave King, raising a Guinness and commanding those before him to drink from their own plastic cups. The crowd obliged and roared in response, confirming that there really isn’t a more fitting way to spend a March 17 than at a Flogging Molly concert. The Irish-American rock band performed a sold out show in Hollywood on Saturday night at the Palladium, just 4 miles away from Molly Malone’s, the Irish pub in which they got their start.

Backstage pre-show the booze was flowing. Tall cans of Guinness were passed out in the hallway and the band poured shots of Jameson for their friends and family. Guests discussed what part of Ireland they were from and compared accents. It was the perfect St. Patrick’s Day cliché. Flogging Molly's VIPs may have been going all out for the evening, but for the musicians, it was business as usual.

“We don’t do anything differently tonight versus other nights. We aren’t going to have green balloons falling from the ceiling or anything like that. We are going to just do what we do,” guitarist Dennis Casey told Billboard earlier in the evening. “As our singer Dave says, ‘I’m from Dublin, Ireland. Every day is St. Patrick’s Day.'”

Casey produced a bottle of Knappogue Castle 12-year single malt Irish whiskey and poured himself a glass. “This is my before show tradition,” he added with a grin. A couple of sips later and the guitarist did admit that playing in a Celtic rock band on St. Patrick’s Day does give him extra feels.

The band took the stage around 10:00 p.m. to a room overflowing with Irish flair. Attendees dressed to impress in their best shamrock accessories, donning tiny sequined hats, green bedazzled capes, endless varieties of “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirts and illuminated necklaces. The venue’s house lights were tinted green for the occasion and there was not a bar on site that didn’t boast a line resembling one for a Disney Land attraction.

King and his mates kicked things off with “The Hand of John L. Sullivan” before launching into such hits as “Drunken Lullabies,” “Requiem for a Dying Song” and “Float.” A mosh pit sprung up during the opening notes of the show and sustained itself over the course of the evening, and nearly every attendee, from GA to the rafters, was on their feet from the first song to the last.

Tunes such as “Devil's Dance Floor” dared fans to showcase their best drunken jigs, while “What’s Left of the Flag” inspired a steady stream of crowd surfers to brave the heavily intoxicated audience and be passed through the room. As the drinks continued to flow, the crowd loosened up even more, parting with their festive hats, sweatshirts, and t-shirts and tossing them through the air like beach balls.

King challenged his audience to “put on their dancing shoes” and keep it up as he watched the festivities unfold. He spoke fondly of the band’s early days and the residency they played two decades back at Molly Malone’s. They dedicated a song to Saint Patrick himself, and shared some sage advice from his late mother, encouraging those present to "to enjoy yourselves as much as she did.” He also riled up fans over news of the band’s rest of 2018 plans, which include a just-announced upcoming tour with Dropkick Murphys.

“This last January, we spent the month in Europe with Dropkick Murphys," he crowed. "Next we are going to be touring across the United States together and I tell you that’s when every day turns into St. Patrick’s Day!”

The evening concluded with a two-song encore, featuring “Crushed” and a lively rendition of “Seven Deadly Sins.” Attendees stumbled to the exit, raving about how this was their “best St. Patrick’s Day ever” as they attempted to tiptoe across a floor covered in beer and the scattered remnants of green accessories.

Set List:

"The Hand of John L. Sullivan"
"Swagger"
"Selfish Man"
"Drunken Lullabies"
"The Days We’ve Yet to Meet"
"Requiem for a Dying Song"
"Saints and Sinners"
"Tenement Square"
"Float"
"Black Friday Rule"
"Life is Good"
"Rebels of the Sacred Heart"
"Devil's Dance Floor"
"If I Ever Leave This World Alive"
"What’s Left of the Flag"
"Salty Dog"

Encore:

"Crushed"
"Seven Deadly Sins"

 


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