FLOGGING MOLLY – Oslo – Sentrum Scene
Norwegians like it when they play some Irish
Few hours prior to the concert at Sentrum Scene we were announced that the support act, Count Vaseline, had to cancel the show, so there would be an early concert start at 8 PM. Which led to a rather packed venue at an early hour, but the concert only started about 30 minutes after the planned time after some triple checking of the instruments and supplying the stage with cans of beer, all done by very attentive staff members. When things were nearly in place, Iggy’s Lust for life started playing in the speakers, followed by a beautiful Irish folk song sung by Bridget Regan (thanks Google) and a reprise of loud cheers when the band members entered the stage, all nicely dressed up for the occasion, but with good bits of Irish like touches.
The Irish/Americans seem to love playing their upbeat music in Oslo/Norway, as they preached it all along their playlist which started off with (No More) Paddy’s Lament and Another Bag of Bricks, but simply made the crowd explode during Drunken Lullabies. The mood was all set for the evening, most of the people on the venue floor were dancing and jumping and throwing beers up in the air (didn’t result in the nicest of smells after a while though). In return, the band members threw some Guiness cans back at the crowd.
I can’t remember which song exactly was dedicated to the Icelandic football team, but it was really nice of Dave King to introduce almost each song with a little story. Like the new one, The Hand of John L. Sullivan, from the upcoming album (out on St. Patrick’s day 2017) being about a boxer, another one dedicated to Lemmy (as he noted that there’s at least a Lemmy concert at each of their shows), one dedicated to his wife, one to a friend who has left for Australia, or the song The Kilburn High Road which is about the street where the singer used to live in London. Really cool to hear bits of the stories behind the scenes. The crowd’s ego grew even bigger when the band admitted that most of the shows this year were at festivals, but nothing can beat the atmosphere in such a venue. I think the speech even led to some crowdsurfers and to me being even more nicely surprise by the usually boring Norwegian audience.
Smells grew stronger, sweat kept running down (or sideways, depends on how one danced and moved), the venue became a sauna but the beats and the clapping seemed more and more intense. Everyone in the band was having a great time both playing and interacting with the crowd. I must say that the various tunes by Bridget Regan’s violin or little flute/fiddle are always delightful for the ears, and gave me plenty of goosebumps during Float. The level of madness was pretty high when the band announced they’d play ‘Devil’s dance floor’ (an cheered for Bad Religion. And made fun of the people who sat at the balcony as they were not on the, well, dance floor). There had been a slower, acoustic moment with 3 songs, which was quite cozy, a decently long drum/guitar solo which gave everyone else a relax moment and the main setlist ended with the whole crowd singing and clapping loud enough to cover the band sound at the back of the venue (basically The Seven Deadly Sins and What’s left of the flag). But altogether Flogging Molly owned the evening and I am grateful for all the smiles, emotions and the pain in my feet gathered along the show. And even the beer in my hair, all part of the fun.
As I had to recover my camera bag, I left before the encore but I am pretty sure the place was on fire if they played the same songs as at a previous concert and ended all up with ‘Always look on the bright side of life’. But I’m sure I’ll be delighted to watch them live over and over again, since they seem a band able to make a complete celebration out of their show and to really involve everyone in the crowd in their fist-pumping anthems combined with sweet lullabies. And to make you feel like a friend for those minutes when you witness them on stage.