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Dave King is a god.
King, lead vocalist and front man of Flogging Molly, along with his fellow six band members headlined Tuesday night’s sold-out show at the Boulder Theatre.
Along with special guests Twopointeight from Sweden and Street Dogs from Boston, this was the fifth stop on Flogging Molly’s Green 17 Tour to culminate on Saint Patrick’s Day in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 17.
Twopointeight opened the show with pure, generic punk. Though reminiscent of Florida punk rockers Against Me! and East Bay punks Rancid in their early days, the Swedish rockers failed to live up to the prestige or the unique quality and style of either.
That said, they didn’t suck. What they lacked in originality they made up for in sweet Swedish charm and a series of badass guitar riffs that made for a head-bangingly punk sound.
No one in Boulder seemed to have ever heard of the Swedes, but they left the stage amidst well-deserved grand applause.
The dynamic Street Dogs followed Twopointeight. Lead by former Dropkick Murphy’s lead singer, Mike McColgan, this emerging Bostonian punk rock sensation brought the sounds of the Boston punk scene to Boulder and effectively blew the crowd away.
Emerging on stage after a recording of Johnny Cash’s “Man in Black” was played to the audience in a pitch-black auditorium, Street Dogs burst into a set including a multitude of McColgan’s sometimes preachy anti-war ballads and fast, straightforward punk digs.
The two songs that clearly won over the crowd, besides skillful drumming by former Mighty Mighty Bosstones drummer Joe Sirois, were “Road of the Righteous” from McColgan’s glory days with the Dropkick Murphys and the wildly popular “In Defense of Dorchester,” a triumphant verse extolling a Boston neighborhood.
Street Dogs left the stage set for a climactic conclusion to the evening by Flogging Molly.
Dave King and Flogging Molly once again proved why they are the greatest live band performing today.
A hodge-podge of pirate-themed, anti-authoritarian punk rock blended with traditional Irish-Catholic with various hints of country twang influences of Johnny Cash, Flogging Molly is dominant on the punk scene.
Flogging Molly opened with the rebellious and poetic “Another Bag of Bricks” followed quickly by the energetic jig, “Swagger.”
Throughout the show, the band would perform a majority of its extensive repertoire in intervals of its fast-paced punk tunes and slower, more solemn ballads. Interspersed throughout was a plethora of new material created by Flogging Molly during their last hiatus from touring in Ireland.
Between each song or two, King would guzzle down Guinness as only a Dublin-born Irishman can and chatting amiably with the crowd, remarking that his father would be most upset to see his son drinking Guinness from a can.
On a floor strewn with empty cups and spilled beer the circle pit at the foot of the stage jigged relentlessly to the sounds of Flogging Molly’s famous pirate tunes, “Salty Dog” and “What’s Left of the Flag.” They stomped to the beat of King’s tirade against 17th century English dictator, Oliver Cromwell with “Tobacco Island” and “Rebels of the Sacred Heart.” And they wavered back and forth to Flogging Molly’s somber ballads such as introspective “Whistles the Wind.”
The tin flute may have been a little sharp over the sound system, the accordion may not have been as loud as expected, but damn can this group play.
Each member of Flogging Molly exhibits a certain amount of raw talent and passion that leads to a cohesive musical machine that makes the band resoundingly the best of it’s class and a musical montage that is sure to live on past its prime.
King left an exhausted audience with a three-part encore beginning with a solo performance of “Black Friday Rule” on the acoustic guitar, which he described the theme of the song by saying “Even if you’re an ugly redhead, it’s alright to dream.” Then he concluded with “Seven Deadly Sins” after being rejoined by the band.
King and the band exited the stage with a Guinness toast and a heartfelt, “goodnight.”
Contact Campus Press Staffwriter Brandon Springer at Brandon.Springer@thecampuspress.com