Flogging Molly's Green 17 Tour: A Field Guide to Tonight's Event
You can bet your bottom bodhran that both Facebook and Twitter are going to be filled with people gushing about Flogging Molly's performance tonight at Tempe Beach Park. That's because the Irish-inspired rock band tends to put on quite the memorable show to say the least, which is all the more reason to check them out tonight.
Melissa Fossum Dave King (right) and Bridget Regan of Flogging Molly at Tempe Beach Park in 2013.
And here's another: In all likelihood, it's going to be their last St. Patrick's Day gig here in the Valley, at least for a while. Maybe forever.
Just so there's no misunderstanding, Flogging Molly is not breaking up, nor is the seven-piece folk/punk/rock ensemble ceasing its touring schedule. It's just that after 10 years of conducting their yearly "Green 17 Tour," which includes 27 stops across the country every March (including their annual gig at Tempe Beach Park), Dave King and the other members of the band are changing things up a little.
(They're reportedly ending the tour after a decade in order to increase their touring options during the spring and to be able to perform new material.)
Hence, Flogging Molly is in the midst of their final nationwide "Green 17" jaunt, and are playing set lists filled with the sort of high-energy drinking anthems and odes that are perfect for the St. Patrick's season.
And Flogging Molly definitely amps up the energy during their Tempe performances. As former New Times scribe Christina Caldwell noted in her review of the band's concert in 2012, King goes all out on stage, even if the songs are familiar ones (which is one of the many perks of catching the show).
"Maybe it's the fact the he's Irish, but the Guinness he drinks on stage seems to fuel his performance, rather than weigh him down," Caldwell wrote. "With wife Bridget Regan by his side on fiddle and tin whistle, the band essentially gave the same performance we've seen for the past three years. When there's nothing but utter chaos around you, it's nice to have that sort of consistency."
And the band's repertoire is nothing if not catchy.
"Flogging Molly has a knack for getting songs stuck in your head. Even as I was trying to fall asleep last night, 'Float' was stuck in my head, thanks to Regan's infectious fiddle lines and the uplifting lyrics of 2011's Speed of Darkness," Caldwell stated. "The band wanted to uplift Detroit in the height of the recession, and even if you have a thousand drunks around you, lyrics like 'Tomorrow smells of less decay/The flowers, quick, just bloom and fray/Be thankful, that's all you can' still hit home, packed with sincerity."
According to our review of Flogging Molly's performance from last St. Patrick's Day, penned by New Times contributor Richard Noel, the show is (as we stated above) quite the memorable experience.
"Flogging Molly played a grueling and altogether amazing set," Noel noted. "Any diehard Molly fan had to have walked away in shear drunken amazement because the band jumped all over the discographical map, hitting the major works, and stuff they hadn't done in years, leaving no blarney stone unturned."
If you've never attended any of Flogging Molly's previous visits to the Valley on St. Pat's, here are a few tips and suggestions on how to get the most out of the experience.