This is one of my infamous “long after the fact” reviews (Febuary 26, as it happens), but I felt it deserved some mention. For an atomic blasting off of cobwebs formed over a long hard winter, there was no finer lineup. The show was headlined by the Celtic punk band of gypsies, Flogging Molly. You’d be hard pressed to find a more appropriate ensemble to heat up a cold Boston night. Not being at all familiar with them (apart from from a misinformed idea of merely a drunken and rowdy Irish rock band), I was very pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, they are a rowdy Irish rock band, but they’re a whole lot more than just that, encompassing traditional Celtic instruments, noble values and awareness of sociopolitical issues — proud champions of the working man (and woman). No disrespect to the capacity crowd of drunken revelers who playfully moshed, brawled and toasted each other with hoisted drinks throughout the evening, but I’d love to see these guys do a quiet acoustic set sometime, with their banjo and bodhran, uilleann pipes, violin, accordion and tin whistle. They’re truly a class act.
The Drowning Men were the reason I came into town. I’ve loved these guys for a few years now. It was an inspired pairing of kindred spirits, apart from the fact that they’re on Flogging Molly’s own label, Borstal Beat Records. These bands work phenomenally well together. What more can I say about The Drowning Men that I haven’t said before? Their music is the sonic equivalent of an adventurous and slightly askew ocean voyage aboard a wayward schooner. By the end, you’re left feeling intoxicated, exhilarated, satiated… and a little dizzy. Suffice it to say they most certainly delivered this night.
Opening the evening was Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One (previously the lead singer and guitarist of Boston punk band Darkbuster). He was great as well, performing no-nonsense, heartfelt music that appealed to this hometown crowd.