Live in Vancouver (05/07/17)Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC
By Bobby Gorman
Despite their close proximity to the Canadian border, Los Angeles’ Celtic-punk mainstays Flogging Molly rarely traverse the border to play the Great White North. This keeps their shows few and far between. In the fourteen plus years of going to concerts, Flogging Molly have done a grand total of ONE Cross-Canada tour and that was in 2009. Sporadically there was a Warped Tour stretch or the odd Montreal/Toronto pop-over, but to say they overplay Canadian cities would be a falsehood.
So while their stop at the Commodore Ballroom last night was one of those rare one-stop pop-overs and not a full blown tour, the Vancouverites eagerly ate it all up; and the band revelled in all the energy and excitement.
The band stuck to the basics, never going above and beyond but delivering what you’d come to expect from a touring band that has been going for two decades. They handed out Guinness’s to the crowd, they clapped their hands and stomped their feet while Dave King led them through their setlist.
Dressed to the nines, the seven-piece band played through all their hits – What’s Left Of The Flag, Swagger, Selfish Man, Devil’s Dance Floor, Float and The Seven Deadly Sins among many others. Surprised appearances of Laura, If I Ever Leave The World Alive and The Worst Day Since Yesterday slowed it down and added the emotional punch to the show only to reenergize the crowd with Rebels of the Sacred Heart and Requiem for a Dying Song.
In anticipation of their forthcoming album, the band trickled out a few new numbers that the iTunes savvy crowd already knew including Reptiles and The Hand of John L Sullivan.
No matter what they were playing, the band stayed the course. Dave King spoke when he needed to, dedicating songs to NOFX and Commodore Ballroom stage manager Nemo, retelling words of his advice his mother gave him and thanking everyone for coming out.
Other than that, it was pretty much all part of the course from what you’d expect from a long running Celtic punk band. There weren’t a ton of bells and whistles, no standing in awe moment. Instead it was just an hour and a half of Guinness soaked revelry.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.