Tuesday night I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands on the planet. Flogging Molly stopped in Houston as part of their Green 17 Tour. I first saw Flogging Molly shortly after their first album release back in college. They were in Savannah and played this tiny little crappy club called The Velvet Elvis for a crowd of what couldn’t have been more than 50 people. They were fantastic then, getting the Guinness soaked crowd of art students to put arms around each other and sway to old Irish drinking songs. That was 7 or 8 years ago, I’m not entirely sure, it all kinda blurs together. They were fantastic that night and they were equally fantastic Tuesday night. Bigger crowd this time. Actually it was a sold out show of a couple hundred, downtown in a converted warehouse at a place called simply enough Warehouse Live.
I met up with my buddy Dane downtown at a bar called The Homeplate which is right next to the ballpark and directly between the park and the club. We were able to grab a quick bite to eat before hand and park for free instead of playing $20 to park a block closer. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get right to the club at 7:00, which was when the doors opened, but it didn’t end up making any difference since the opening act came on late anyway. I always like to be early for shows like that so I can be up closer to the front railing. I don’t care one way or another about “the pit”, if I’m in the middle of it so be it, but being “in front” of it seems to work out better than being behind it. It’s also to avoid what ended up happening last night and getting squeezed in behind so huge guy who I can’t see around. I know I’m just average height so I like to find some place with a good line of sight and being behind some 7’2″ guy without a shirt on doesn’t really do it for me. So we moved up to a small landing to the left of the stage, directly in front of the bar. We were to the side a bit, but the extra 4 or 5 feet off the ground provided a fine vantage point.
The opening bands included The Cherry Cokes, a Japanese Irish band (yes you read that correctly) who sung completely in Japanese but the crowd didn’t really seem to mind. The melodies were familiar and that was enough for most people. They were actually rather good, even despite the language barrier. The second band was, ummm, interesting. It was the Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band. A 3 piece consisting of drums, washboard and steel guitar. I liked it, but I think it wasn’t what the crowd was expecting. It was more of a punk/hillbilly thing than music you could sing along with. Some good guitar picking from the Reverend though.
Then it was time for the main event. Everyone (including myself) got refills on their Guinness and prepared for what was going to be an awesome show. They came on about 10:00 and the place lit up. There were a couple slower, more somber songs mixed in here or there, but for the most part it was a rocking show. I was glad the people around me were into it, it’s always a shame when you get stuck next to people and they stand there with their arms crossed looking pissed all night. I’ve been to shows like that before and it’s not fun. Those type of people come out to shows simply for something to do. Tuesday we were thrown in the mix with a good bunch of folks who were there for a good time. Multiple times throughout the night everyone put their arms around their neighbor and sang at the top of their drunk ass lungs. I completely enjoyed myself.
It had been such a long time since I had seen a show that it was just what I needed. I love going to concerts and this was a good one. I’m glad my buddy Dane was able to come. He’s a (new) big Flogging Molly fan and I’m glad he got to see them live.