Review: “Live at the Greek Theatre,” Flogging Molly
Pretty much any time the Irish-punk band Flogging Molly plugs in to play, it’s instantly St. Patrick’s Day. As the real date approaches next week, the band has released Live at the Greek Theatre, a three-disc package documenting the band’s high-energy set.
Two discs of music and one DVD in a specially priced package is a pretty good deal from this rockin’ band – true to form, the album kicks off with some slow balladry that explodes into the rollicking “The Likes Of You Again.” And the energy never flags over the 22-song set: “Requiem For A Dying Song” and “Devil’s Dance Floor” are anthems, the latter taken at breakneck speed. You can’t help but sing along, or maybe even break into a jig.
“Drunken Lullabies,” the title song from the band’s second studio album, is a highlight and so is “The Lightning Storm,” dedicated to Johnny Cash. Frontman Dave King has a great voice, and he’s mixed front and center to give the listener a full musical experience without sacrificing the “live” energy.
There are a couple of other bands out there mixing traditional Celtic sounds with fiery punk rock: the Pogues, from the 1970s, are probably better songwriters and musicians, while the Dropkick Murphys probably are harder rockin’ than any of them. Now that the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan has damaged himself with excess, neither of those bands have a savvy mastermind like Molly’s Dave King; his incredible talent makes Flogging Molly a worthy ticket live or on record. Live at the Greek Theatre is a perfect soundtrack for any St. Paddy’s Day party.