The bars inside the Joy Theater couldn’t have stocked enough Guinness for the patrons of Friday night’s show. The infamous Celtic punk band, Flogging Molly, visited New Orleans one week after St. Patrick’s Day with the London-based folk group, Skinny Lister, and the brews didn’t stop flowing. Flogging Molly was formed in Los Angeles by Irish lead singer and primary songwriter, Dave King. Today they are known for their use of traditional Celtic instruments in a fusion of punk and folk music. Because of the triumphant nature and feelings of camaraderie in their tunes, Flogging Molly are adored by punks, drunks, Celts and everyone in between.
Skinny Lister opened the show promptly at 8:30. SL’s style of music, appropriately, is very similar to Flogging Molly. They play upbeat folk songs as a six-piece with conventional instruments such as acoustic guitar, accordion, and upright bass. They also incorporate electric guitar, drums, and the “seventh member” of the band is a rather large ceramic drinking jug dubbed “the flagon.” Skinny put on a splendid performance with just the right amount of jubilation to prepare fans for Flogging Molly’s inebriating presence.
Flogging Molly ambled out at 9:45 after the stage hands stacked their amps with plenty pint cans of the black stuff. King greeted the crowd, all smiles, tossing a Guinness to a lucky fan every so often. He dedicated the show to a young boy on tour with them called Finn and soon the venue shook with stomping feet. The hardest part of dancing to FM is not slipping in the spirits sloshed all over the dance floor. They played all the classics: hits from their first album Swagger such as “Salty Dog,” “Devil’s Dance Floor” and “The Worst Day Since Yesterday,” as well as “Drunken Lullabies,” “What’s Left of the Flag,” and “If I Ever Leave this World Alive,” from their second album, Drunken Lullabies. The magic of a Flogging Molly show is that with a skip in your step and a drink in your hand, it’s impossible not to embrace your fellow man and party like a pirate. Between songs, even King, who continued to give out pints to the crowd, could be seen with one fist in the air and a Guinness in the other. Their final encore song was the buccaneer drinking anthem “Seven Deadly Sins,” which everyone blissfully warbled and jigged to in unison.