Perhaps it’s the upbeat, triumphant nature of traditional Celtic music, but despite being slightly punk rock, live Flogging Molly is always positive and chock-full of brotherly love. If you’re at one of their shows and not dancing or at least jigging somewhat, you’re not doing it properly. Last year, Flogging Molly rocked the Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene, OR with the Dropkick Murphys. Exactly one year and a day later, they returned for a second co-headlining tour with Social Distortion.
The American/Irish outfit started off strong with the first song of the set being their most popular, “Drunken Lullabies.” In response, the baltering, skanking fans strutted their stuff, sloshing drinks in hand. Dave King is a very engaging frontman, constantly encouraging the crowd to drink to one another, jump with the music, and dance arm-in-arm.
The band continued with a solid setlist that spanned their career. Songs from earlier works made the bill, such as “Selfish Man,” one of their very first songs ever written, as well as new tracks like “Crushed” from the most recent Life is Good album, released in 2017. All the hits were performed, too, including “Devil’s Dance Floor,” “What’s Left of the Flag,” and “Seven Deadly Sins.” Dave and Flogging Molly expressed a heartfelt goodbye to Eugene, with plans to take a short break after the tour and then begin work on a new album. To say goodbye, they played another beloved tune, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive,” and Dave assured the crowd, “Eugene, it’s gonna be alright!” during the climax. As is tradition, Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” blared in the house speakers as the band vanished.