Had a great time last night at Stage AE for the Flogging Molly show! It was a nice evening out, much closer to home than the last Flogging Molly show that we had to drive to Cleveland for, and we didn’t wait too long to buy tickets this time. (Last time, we waited too long & it sold out!) After arriving home from work, Bethany & I headed to Dormont Dogs for a nice quick meal. (I had the Connecticut Ave. dog minus the onions, it was fantastic!) We then battled and easily defeated the tunnel monster on the way to the north shore.
We got there early, because I’m generally OCD about getting to shows early. We lined up outside behind the mob of green & black T-shirts peppered with the occasional tartan patterned kilt or someone who didn’t get the memo about wearing green to a Celtic punk rock show. There were more people than I had expected. It was windy, but not unbearable. We were entertained by the 3 or 4 scalpers passing by asking for extra tickets. One guy had his leg in some sort of brace or cast, and one guy was on a bike. They mustn’t have scored any, because I didn’t see anyone selling them.
This was sadly the first time I’ve seen a show with the big room opened up. I need to get to more shows down there. (The 1st time I was there was to see Dethlehem and they were on the smaller bar stage.) It’s a fantastic venue. You have a nice view all around. The only thing I’d change is having the floor slightly sloped… but then again I’m just short. After getting a superficial pat-down at the door, we stopped & said hi to Jeff who was working & not setting any fires. Then we made our way to the bar where I got a Killian’s Irish Red because I can’t really take too much Guinness. The wife opted for water. At a Flogging Molly show? Water? She must be the more responsible half.
We joined the pack of Yinzers crowding the merch table as we tried to get a look and get up front. It was easy to see that the dude wasn’t taking orders from any other dudes… so my wife ordered our shirts and a patch once we squeezed our way to the front. As I was getting a dollar out of my wallet to pop into the tip bucket, it fell into my beer. So, dude got a soggy dollar & a dry dollar. Sorry. Not that sorry though. You can still spend it. I picked up a Devil Makes Three CD too. I saw them online & liked what I heard. I asked the merch guy which one he suggested. He showed me the 1st album & the live one. He seemed to indicate that the live one was a nice cross-section, so I went with that.
To the floor! It was still relatively easy to make our way to the center & almost front of the floor. Things were starting to pack in as we got there, it was pretty good timing & placement. We thought. Bethany thought she smelled a skunk, and we were too far away from the obligatory dreadlock kid for it to be Patchouli & BO, so it was most likely the extremely pungent weed that we were smelling burning much later. (I bet area Taco Bell locations had a surge of customers after the show.) Our friend Laurel made a last-minute decision to come to the show, so she joined us right as the lights went down…
Brothers of Brazil | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012
The Brothers of Brazil were up first. Imagine a young Fred Schneider (or Michale Ian Black) on guitar and Billy Idol (or maybe even Johnny Rotten) on drums. These dudes were quite interesting. The guitar-work was amazing, & the drummer was quite the showman & very entertaining. They had this weird samba punk rock vibe… it was odd. I’d see them again. I dunno if I’d buy an album. It was fantastic that they opened & closed with a theme song. I believe these dudes will do well for themselves. I don’t think Bethany & Laurel were as amused as I was.
The Devil Makes Three | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012
Up next was The Devil Makes Three. The crowd stated getting a little more packed in, and a drunken kid beside me ruined the first 2 songs by slurredly “singing” loudly & off-key directly into my ear, until he decided that the crowd wasn’t as into it as he was, and muttered something about us being lame & pushing forward. These dudes rocked quietly, but they play really well. They have great melodies & harmonies… even though they were minus their regular bass player. I have no idea what to call it. Is it folk? Alt country? Blues? Punk? It’s close-to-but-not bluegrass or rockabilly. All I know is that I like it. I’m gonna say if you like punk rock, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, or old folk or blues stuff… you ought to check these cats out. They win the award for coolest guitars too. Cooper McBean played a mean-looking old archtop with what I think was a P-90 mounted in it. it looked like it had been left out in a sandstorm after someone dumped some paint-thinner on it. I wanted it. He mainly rocked the banjo & a tenor banjo. The lyrics are great. Check out this comic set to the lyrics of the song “The Bullet”. I will see this band next time they’re in town! Bethany really dug them too, being a country fan and all. I think Laurel was trying to figure them out.
Well, we enjoyed the part of the set that wasn’t ruined by belligerent drunken meat-heads. Starting at about the same time as The Devil Makes Three, the crowd directly behind us was swaying & getting rowdy. Oh well, it’s a concert. We’re in the middle of the floor. That’s what happens. Until these testoster-tools behind us start arguing about something. I heard something about touching or talking to a sister. I’m not sure. Maybe they were bumping into each other, maybe someone was trying to bump uglies. I was trying to pay attention to the blisteringly talented band on stage. There was arguing, shoving, and a guy getting in the middle. Somebody’s “bro” got in the middle and then calmed things down. Security was eying them and pointing flashlights from the ramps on the side, but apparently not responding. Then everything was “cool” and it remained calm, for a song or two anyway. All of a sudden I hear “oh my god!” and my wife is on the floor on her ass. I pulled her up and swung around and yelled something to the effect of “Who the [expletive] knocked my wife on to the [expletive] floor?” Two dudes larger than me in height and girth (one in a kilt as well as a drunken stupor) looked at me with an expression that can only be descried as “oh shit”. I turned around to ask Bethany if she was OK. She nodded. I swung back around to the now large gap in the crowd surrounding the two sweaty ass-clowns and demanded that they apologize to Bethany. They did, looking like a dog that just took a dump on the living room floor, as security arrived to further scold them and ask me if Bethany was OK. Next time how about responding before a bystander gets knocked over? I guess she saw one dingleberry trying to choke the other dingleberry as she got knocked down. I would expect this kind of crap at a metal show, but for folk punk? Way to uphold drunken Irish fighting stereotypes, McPotatoheads. I don’t know if I would have punched those guys, or what… but apparently my tone of voice or the look on my face told them not to mess with me. I thought security was going to drag me into it too as he was asking if Bethany was OK. Later Laurel laughed as she said she thought I was going to swing & she’d end up jumping on the fat guy & throwing punches too. Maybe we’re all a little too violent?
Finally, it was time for Flogging Molly! Despite all of the drunken violence, the smell of burning leaves in the non-smoking venue, the guy in front of me repeatedly backing himself into my junk, getting sweat on me from the shirtless guy, and paying $12 for parking, we were having one hell of a great time!
Flogging Molly | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012
If you’ve never seen Flogging Molly in action, I’m not sure how to describe it. Seven people come on to the stage and sound like 70. The crowd really started moving so I pushed Bethany & myself forward & off to the side as we lost Laurel with the first wave. She found us not too long after that. Dave King & company ripped through a bunch of hits & some stuff that they don’t regularly do live. I remember it being a long set & how I liked every selection. I could have watched them go for many more songs, even after the encore. I can’t pick a favorite track, I like so many of them. I really enjoyed “What’s Left of the Flag”, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive”, “Float”, & “The Son Never Shines (on Closed Doors)”, & of course “7 Deadly Sins”. The inter-song banter keeps things light with songs that can have such heavy lyrical matter all the while to a happy beat. You get the feeling that they’re all playing right from the heart. You have this killer group of musicians that can probably between them master any instrument you might have lying around. Dennis Casey has his hands full trying to compete with & leave room for all of the other instruments. I was glad he got a spot for a guitar solo of sorts, in with the Guinness chug. Every time I see a Celtic punk band, I get the urge to buy a Telecaster. At any rate, Flogging Molly did not disappoint. We’ll see them next time they’re in the ‘Burgh, Cleveland, or anywhere else nearby. I know Bethany loved it, I think Laurel did too. After the show, we ran into my cousin Patience. Taste in awesome Irish music must run in the family.