Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Show review & photos: Flogging Molly at Congress Theater

By Mike Sullivan

photo: Mike Sullivan
Flogging Molly made the Chicago stop on their 7th annual Green 17 tour this past weekend for two nearly sold out shows at the Congress Theater. They may have been a week early for St. Patrick's Day, but I really doubt that anybody minded. After all, St. Patrick’s is more like a holiday season here than just another holiday.

Once opening act Moneybrother finished their set, the main floor filled in very tightly with barely an open spot to stand. Chants of “Flogg-ing Mol-ly (clap clap clap clap clap)” and “Ole Ole” started. At 9:30 p.m. sharp the lights dimmed and a slight calm came over the crowd. This would turn out to be the last moment of tranquility for the night. Once the very first note from the title track on their forthcoming album, Speed of Darkness, was played, the swirling mosh pits erupted. Frontman Dave King was dancing and running around the stage like a gigantic leprechaun fueled by adrenaline and Guinness, stopping only for brief moments to belt out his lyrics.

The septet blasted through song after song, including fan favorites such as "The Likes of You Again," "Swagger," "Requiem for a Dying Song," "Selfish Man," and "The Worst Day Since Yesterday." They then introduced fans to another new track, "Sinners and Saints." King entertained the crowd as usual with his humorous personality and antics between songs. He poked fun at everything from his days as a alter boy to the hangovers everyone in attendance would be experiencing the next day.

Flogging Molly brought the tone down very slightly for a few acoustic tracks, starting with a mellow version of "The Wanderlust" followed by "Factory Girls" (which King dedicated to his 90-year-old mother and all the hard working mothers across the world) and  another new track, "So Sail On."

After that it was time to bring the intensity back up to full throttle, and they had absolutely no problem doing so with "Black Friday Rule," "Don't Shut ‘em Down," "Rebels of the Sacred Heart," and "Devils Dance Floor." King invited the audience into a sing-a-long about true friends during "World Alive," and the participation continued on into "Salty Dog." The main set ended with "What’s Left of the Flag," a song about the battles Ireland faced against Britain for their freedom. The crowd chanted along, "Walk away me boys, and by morning we'll be free!"

When the band came back onto the stage for their encore, they again expressed their thanks for our city’s hospitality and for all our support over the years. They started the encore off slow with "Float" and then ventured into the ugly side of Irish history with "Tobacco Island." The night finally came to an end with "Seven Deadly Sins." These two show were indeed a great way to help celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day holiday here in Chicago.

Check out more show reviews:
Louis and the Hunt at Schubas
The Pogues, Titus Andronicus at Congress Theater
The Island of Misfit Toys at Schubas
Akron/Family at Lincoln Hall
Dropkick Murphys at Congress Theater


  1. I never knew this band was mosh pit material. Sounds like they put on a crazy show.

  2. They put on a great show. Very lively experience and most of the main floor is one big swirling pit. I highly recommend checking it out at least once if you have the chance.