According to the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, “the function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought.” And I don’t know about you guys, but my conscious thoughts have been sort of over-the-top tyrannical lately. I spend a lot of time these days trying to get out of my own head, not only because sometimes my conscious thoughts are unpleasant, but also because my subconscious thoughts are way more interesting.
And so, in search of oblivion (or at least some respite), off I went to see Flogging Molly, where I assumed the crowd would be full of drunken Irish punks good-naturedly singing along to songs about booze, hard times, and getting fucked over by The Man. I am happy to report that in this, I was entirely correct. I didn’t quite manage to get out of my own head, though, partially because I forgot my phone at the house and was supposed to meet people at the show and I was really, really twitchy about being so disconnected. WHAT IF THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE IS HAPPENING WHILE WE’RE SHOUTING ABOUT DRUNKEN LULLABIES??? Lesson: Maybe I should leave the house without my phone more often.
the devil makes three @ the aragon ballroom, 2012-02-18
First open was The Devil Makes Three, a folksy three-piece with a lady bassist and a hirsute banjo player whose machine annoys fascists and caused the kids next to me on the rail to ask me really earnestly WTF, so I told them about Woody Guthrie and they promised to go home and look him up. Well played, punks. Anyway, I liked the band enough to stand in the ridiculous merch line after the show and pounce on their merch girl as she was tearing down. I bought one of their records and listened to it for two days. Good stuff.
At a different show, I would have really liked the next band, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and I don’t think I’ve laid eyes on a bari sax since high school, but their more blues-based music seemed a few degrees off for the evening. Enjoyable and energetic, for sure, but maybe not quite there.
As for Flogging Molly, it was everything I’d hoped. Fun-loving and hard-rocking, with a similar vibe as the Pogues show but not nearly so fucking brutal. It gets hot in the Aragon, but it’s no Congress, and the all-agesness of this show meant it wasn’t as sloppy fucking drunk as the Pogues show. Also, I took this picture, which I am kind of in love with. Punk noir!
flogging molly @ the aragon, 2012-02-18
I would also like to point out that every show I’ve been to in 2012 has, so far, involved a mandolin. How is that possible? You tell me.
Anyway, you guys. Flogging Molly had the best outro I have ever seen. They put on Always Look On The Bright Side (yes, the Monty Python song), turned the mics to the crowd, and skipped around the stage with their arms around one another until they all collapsed with sheer goofiness. They passed out setlists and picks and drumsticks and whatever else they felt like, leading the crowd in this stupid singalong, and everyone was so happy. It was perfect.