By Mike McKenney, New England Correspondent
Venue: Bold Point Park, East Providence, Rhode Island-Saturday June 16, 2018-Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and special guest Jake Burns
While it is true that everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day, it also holds true whenever Celtic rockers Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys roll into town. On a beautiful warm Saturday evening, the scenic Bold Point Park’s waterfront provided the perfect backdrop for the music from “across the pond”.
As Flogging Molly lead singer Dave King remarked, “although it was still far away, this is the closest venue on the tour to Ireland”.
With the sun still bright in the cloudless blue sky, the crowd was drawn to the intoxicating aromas from the Food trucks as Jake Burns of (Belfast’s punk band), Stiff Little Fingers took the stage. A crowd quickly formed with their beers held high as Jake, performing a short solo set, engaged the audience with his Irish inspired songs and stories.
Many a green haired, kilt wearing fan could be spotted (along with one guy in a bright neon green suit that brought admiration from Dave King) in the crowd that now covered the entire grounds as Flogging Molly hit the stage full force. Loud and proud, Dave King (lead vocals, guitar), Bridget Regan (violin, fiddle, and a fantastic tin whistle), Dennis Casey (guitar), the personable Matt Hensley (accordion), are accompanied by Nathan Maxwell (bass) Bob Schmidt (banjo, mandolin), and Mike Alonso on drums.Flogging Molly played all their well known songs spanning most of their albums, “Drunken Lullabies”, “Seven Deadly Sins”, and “Salty Dog” kept the crowd dancing while hits “What’s Left of the Flag” and “The Hand of John L. Sullivan” cranked the audience energy level up a notch. As the day turned into night, Dave King thanked the appreciative sold out crowd for their enthusiasm.
The night air was still warm when under a crescent moon sky, Dropkick Murphys descended on their frenzied fans. Singers Ken Casey and Al Barr barely touched the stage before they were jumping out over the security barricades to their adoring fans. Booming, boisterous, and brash, Dropkick Murphys kept venue security (great job!) busy all night as they whipped up the crowd surfing with “Captain Kelley’s Kitchen”, “The Boys Are Back”, and “Famous For Nothing”. Along with Casey and Barr, Matt Kelly (drums), James Lynch (screaming guitar), Tim Brennan (accordion), and Jeff DaRosa (banjo), the underpinnings of Irish folk influence is evident in “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”, “Barroom Hero”, and “The State Of Massachusetts”. After an exhaustive 17 song set, Dropkick Murphy’s finished with a 5 song encore and sent the satiated crowd home to a cover of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, that ended a perfect night of great Irish music at New England’s hottest Boutique venue.