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Flogging Molly and Violent Femmes Kicked Off Tour With Gusto in Saint Louis

Flogging Molly performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

 

It’s been over a year and a half since Flogging Molly and Violent Femmes played a concert (though Flogging Molly did play a couple of pub shows in March at Whelan’s in Dublin), but from the sound of things at their co-headlining tour which kicked off in Saint Louis Friday night, one would never know.

Violent Femmes performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Friday night marked the highly anticipated start of the tour at the new Saint Louis Music Park on a beautiful evening with a couple thousand close friends.

Aside from a couple of one off festival dates in Europe Flogging Molly has been stuck to playing virtual acoustic shows for their fans. Violent Femmes hasn’t played any dates, festivals, or other shows since February of 2020. Femmes vocalist Gordon Gano joked with the crowd about the long layoff prior to beginning their set “If we hadn’t done this before we’d be nervous.”

Violent Femmes performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

It certainly didn’t show during their hour long sets.

Picking through a 29 song setlist which Gano joked was too small to read, he said they would pick and choose from the list, like ordering food off a menu. For a band that hasn’t played in front of a live audience in 18 months the Violent Femmes (with Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist John Sparrow) were solid. With Blaise Garza on the Horns of Dilemma their performances of songs that included their biggest song “Blister in the Sun” and “Kiss Off” was more than satisfying from start to finish. Gano, of course, had to ask the crowd to “scream along” for “Life is a Scream”.

Violent Femmes performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Their simplistic yet complicated style fit well while the crowd danced and sang, or screamed, along for their whole set.

Violent Femmes performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Flogging Molly, that 7 piece Celtic punk band with infectious energy, haven’t lost a step, diving right in with the raucous “Devil’s Dance Floor” (It’s hard to quell the urge to dance along in the pit while trying to be professional and take photos while that song is playing. Just Saying.).

Flogging Molly performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Front to back Flogging Molly (Dave King – vocals, Bridget Regan – violin, Dennis Casey – guitar, Nathen Maxwell – bass, Matt Hensley – accordion, Spencer Swain, mandolin, Mike Alonso – drums) are as tight as ever. From up-tempo rockers like “Black Friday Rule” to toned down melodies like “Float” the band touched it all onstage with pent up energy and vigor.

Flogging Molly performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

They even gave the fans a little treat: a new song that hasn’t been recorded yet in “Croppy Boy”. I love hearing a band play a song live for the first time and this foot stomping diddy was no exception. King quipped: “You know you got something when the lyrics open with ‘With 2 fried eggs in the morning.'”

Flogging Molly performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

King, ever the showman, did a great job of interacting and joked with the audience, dedicating a song to his belly, and explaining how his wife (Bridget Regan) became his barber during the past year and a half during the pandemic. By the reaction many in the crowd seemed to relate.

Flogging Molly performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

I feel sad to those of you who missed this evening’s performances.

Welcome back live shows. Welcome back.

Thick performing at the tour opener at Saint Louis Music Park Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

DIY punk trio Thick opened the show with an early 90’s grunge punk style.

Be sure to check out the full photo gallery after the setlist below.

 

 

Flogging Molly Setlist:

Devil’s Dance Floor

John L. Sullivan

Drunkin Lullabies

Worst Day Since Yesterday

Black Friday Rule

Croppy Boy (new song)

Likes of You Again

Swagger

Float

Crushed

Salty Dog

World Alive

What’s Left of the Flag

Seven Deadly Sins

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