For more than 5 years now, the seven members of Flogging Molly have been reminding fans just how much fun Irish music can be with a pint of Guinness, frat-like brotherhood chants and whiskey that makes coffee almost tolerable. Oh yeah, and the musics good, too.
Early comers to the House of Blues on Sunset got an eyeful of Molly fans dressed in various Irish styles, leaving no doubt about their cultural loyalties, as well as an earful of opening acts Danko Jones and Maxeen. Lead singer Jones martyred himself to a rock n roll Mount Sinai while punk trio Maxeen blended itself into typical O.C. punk fibers, leaving the crowd chomping at the bit for Mollys appearance.
When the septet finally took the stage shortly after 11 p.m., it was greeted by a packed house of Guinness drinkers all raising their draught cans in unison and vocalizing their zeal with a roaring welcome for the band.
With the energy up, singer Dave King and company reached into their catalog and pulled out a number from their debut album, "The Likes of You Again" (a surprisingly up-tempo eulogy to a lost parent), dedicating it to "anybody whos ever lost somebody." Not a mouth onstage nor in the audience was silent during the chorus, which proved to be a pattern as the room full of idolatrous fans chanted along to every chorus of almost every song.
In between numbers, King, whose slanted accent removes any remaining doubt about the bands authenticity, engaged in banter, told stories behind songs, about friends, or cracked an occasional joke and kept the eyes and ears on him at all times. The ambiance was glib and easy, like a party at a friends house. With the Guinness flowing, beer companies could only dream of advertising so good.
The initial energy carried on for a few songs until the band slowed down a bit for "Whistles the Wind," a song that, according to King, is "about being ugly." The lighting dimmed to shades of blue and green as the crowd swayed to the lullaby waltz lead by Bridget Regans mournful violin.
When the pace again picked up, Regan put down the fiddle and picked up the recorder for "Rebels of the Sacred Heart," after which King picked up an open can of Guinness behind him and declared, "Its like mothers milk."
By the time "Black Friday Rule" came up, it became strikingly evident that the seven members of Flogging Molly were indefatigable. As everyone in the house bellowed the choruses of "Seven Deadly Sins," the energy never let up and the band members played the last song of the night, "Devils Dance Floor," like it was the first. It was a late show, but it was worth the wait.