Belated Flogging Molly Concert Review.


Ott 11 2009, 23:15

Having the wherewithal to buy tickets to Flogging Molly before the show I was actually able to get in this time since they regularly sellout the venue, a few outside weren't so lucky and resorted to begging for tickets. It's surprising they've grown this much considering the first time I saw them play In SLC they were just an unknown band on tour with Bouncing Souls people were waiting on to finish the set and get to the main act. Now they're huge.

They're touring with Hepcat an old school Ska band that has been around forever but doesn't release a whole lot of new CDs. And frankly I enjoyed the Hepcat portion of the show more than Flogging Molly. I like energetic ska music like Suburban Legends but sometimes some good ska music to just chill out with is great. The two lead vocalists Greg and Alex were great at setting a good mood to groove to some great ska.

I made a point to go buy a couple Hepcat CDs at the swag table before the post Molly rush crowded the place too much. I was surprised to see Flogging Molly was smart enough to have a credit card reader that their table to run cards. I make a point to bring plenty of cash to shows but I always see countless others who don't have the experience to plan ahead and end up passing on buying merchandise. Considering how much the artists make off merchandise sales at a show I'm amazed more artists don't bring card scanners.

I usually don't have any problems with the staff serving drinks at In the Venue/Club Sound; the servers are usually pretty nice and take care of people well. This time I was pissed however, I think we can all agree that people who cut in front of line when there are 20 people waiting to get a drink are the scum of the earth and deserve a special place in hell. Especially the ones who give that smug look at you after they get served as if to say, "Suckers!"

And what can you do? When I got close enough to the front I'd give a, "Hey!" with a thumb over my shoulder to the back of the line; but even then most people got their drinks anyway, and the people in line with me just looked at the floor and saved their criticisms for muttering under their breath when the line-cutter moved on. Mandy Patinkin does a great job of how we all wish this kind of scenario would usually play out:
Don't Cut: You Tube

But even with people shouting that they shouldn't be cutting Club Sound's barmaid Carrie served them anyway. So if line-cutters are assholes that deserve to be kicked out, what does that make her for being the staff that serves them anyway?

I've noticed this problem alot in the service industry that goes along with the "The customer is always right" proverb. Some jackass ignores the implied or posted rules but the staff helps them anyway because they don't want to risk losing a single sale. But what about the 20 other good rule-obeying customers they just alienated by helping somebody that cut in front? Logically a business proprietor would tell the rule breaker to fuck themselves and an lose the 1 bad customer and better serve the 20 good customers, instead in the vein of "The customer is always right" they commonly serve the asshole and screw over the majority.

The sad part is that people put up with it anyway like sheep. Even after remarking, "I can't believe she's serving them even though they obviously cut!" I watched a girl leave a substantial tip anyway. Well I'm sticking by my response to the girls comment, "I'm closing my tab, not tipping, and never buying a drink from here again." Although that's a lie, I did leave a tip on my recipt:

"Tell Carrie not to serve people who cut"

If a business provides bad service they should receive a bad tip if any at all. They're lucky we don't walk out when the staff symbolically joins in the "Suckers!" slight given to the people who waited patiently for them to do their job.

I know that tips are shared among servers and bartenders so good servers at Club Sound are punished as well. Which is too bad since I know two of them are great bartenders and deserve big tips, hence the "Tip" on the receipt that a coworker's bad decisions are costing them as well and they should set her straight or do themselves a favor and replace her. Because the tip they lost from me is nothing compared to the fact that I refuse to get drinks there from now on. I'm not a frequent customer but losing $15-20 each time I go is more substantial than their share of one nights tip.

That may seem a bit extreme but really it's more of the straw that broke the camel's back, the $14.40 price above is for TWO draft beers, and one of those was Coors Light (All other taps were dry at the time, I had no choice); I could get 3 pitchers at Cheers to You for that price. So fuck Club Sound, their overpriced drinks, and lousy service. I'm never buying a drink there again and I recommend you do the same if only to send a message that a tip line on a receipt is no guarantee that you actually deserve the tip.

Back to the concert.

After 30minutes in line I missed Flogging Molly's opening of course. I was one of the first in line when the last band ended too. I'm sorry for those behind me, they probably missed half the show. The crowd was out of control; people crowding around the bar entrance were jumping up and down or moshing and they'd invariably bump into people coming out with drinks in their hand then complain about it. "Screw you, you jumped into me, what did you think would happen?" I slid into a relatively calm corner and watched the show.

I have to say Flogging Molly is great but I think alot of the music is better listened to as it is on the albums. That is more introspective, music and not "mosh-pit, kicking and shoving" music. Songs that are introspective ballads on the albums were sped up to bouncing high-energy songs, and high energy songs from the albums were so high tempo it was hard to sing along with them. I almost feel sorry for poor Bridget Regan working a fiddle at that speed. She must have massively strong arms to play shows like this every night.

Speaking of which it was great that the normally bad sound mixing at In the Venue was good enough that the fiddle and penny whistle sounded really good. I noticed that Rancid the night before had good sound too. Did In the Venue get a new sound guy or has he finally figured out how to mix for the site?

It was a great show but the crowd that Flogging Molly gathers is kind of an irritation to me. A UK friend at once mentioned how all Americans pretend to be what they think of as "Irish". Maybe a bit of an overstatement, we're not all like that, but Flogging Molly sure draws that crowd. It's almost like they're there because they think it gives them some tie to a non-existant Irish heritage even though Flogging Molly is a US band playing Irish-American Punk and far separated from traditional Irish music and culture. It's the same crowd that claims the reason they drink too much is because "I'm 1/16th Irish!". No you're just a drunk. The same crowd that think all Irish people dance like Michael Flatley or Riverdance even though Flatley is American. I actually saw some girls in the crowd doing their own approximation to step dancing during the show!

Most kiddies seemed like they were there for the scene and not the music. Whenever the word Irish came out of Dave King's mouth a loud cheer would go up regardless of the context. But when there was a reference to the seminal "" group The Pogues less than half the crowd cheered or understood who they were. Earlier when talking to a self described "Huge Fan" of Flogging Molly I asked if she liked The Pogues or The Tossers as well and all I got back was a blank stare. I think alot of the self professed diehard fans here were those group of newbies that like them because it's cool in American to claim to be Irish and listen to Irish-American music. Which is fine so long as you don't start to confuse yourself into thinking that it really means you know something of or are connected to real Irish culture.

Other than spending 30 minutes waiting to get an overpriced beer it was a good show, with Hepcat really being the highlight of the night in my mind. Flogging Molly was overrated. They were still great, I only say that in context of the fact that all the kiddies coming out of the show were acting like it was a transcendent experience when it wasn't. It was a good show, but I'd hardly agree that "I could die happy now", as I overheard somebody say on the way out.

CDs Purchased:

Right on Time

Push 'n Shove


  • RoboHoboX

    Nice review. I went to this show solely to see Hepcat and left after their set because I assumed the crowd during Flogging Molly would be just as you described it. Flogging Molly's a fun live band, but not when you have to deal with their over-excited/over-stupid fans.

    Dic 2 2009, 7:10
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