By David Lucas, Rock At Night Orlando
Live Review: Flogging Molly with Vandoliers and the Bronx-House of Blues, Orlando – September 29, 2023
It’s the final night of the Flogging Molly 2023 summer tour. And the House of Blues Orlando was the perfect place for the last celebration of the tour. With a sold out show and house full of fans of all ages. For one young man this was his very first concert and brought a sign to let everyone know.
It’s showtime! From Dallas, Texas, Vandoliers takes the stage with a grand title to start the night off, “Rolling Out.” Rolling out, they did. They hit the stage running! Well, walking but, you know what I mean. Having a country rock sound with some fiddle and trumpet giving them an Americana feel. We have all heard the saying that “everything is bigger in Texas”. These guys are no exception. They know how to put on a show and have the sound to go along with it. Closing out their set with a cover of The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).” I would drive 500 miles to catch another Vandoliers show.
Next up, a hardcore punk band from Los Angeles, California, The Bronx. Singer Matt Caughthran is one hard guy to keep up with. The energy was everywhere, jumping and dancing all over the stage. His feet hardly stayed on the floor. Kicking it off with “White Shadow”. A catchy beat with a late 80’s rock and roll feel. The guitar and sound of Matt’s voice takes me back to the band, Rhino Bucket I used to listen to back then. Song after song, with no signs of slowing down, the hard-hitting energy keeps coming. This set was full of heavy music, mosh pits and at one point in the evening, Matt himself, leaving the stage and making his way to the middle of the floor to join the pit. If that wasn’t enough, Vandoliers makes a reappearance turning the stage into a mosh pit. When The Bronx (and Vandoliers) come through your town, don’t miss your chance to catch their show.
The moment we have all been waiting for, it’s time for Flogging Molly. The lights dim and cheers from all around. The intro starts as Dave King and the band make their way to the stage. Dave walks in all smiles as if it were the first night of the tour, not the last. Making his way to the mic in the center of the stage singing along with some of the intro. It’s quiet for only a second when Spencer Swain picks on the banjo leading into Drunken Lullabies.
Dave is making his way around the stage acknowledging the audience. The lights turn up, Dave takes a strum on his acoustic guitar with the rest of the band right on que following along. It’s a mix of Celtic, folk and rock together in one evening of fun, excitement and joy. Just a few songs in, Dave spots the sign on the right side of the stage (stage left) and walks over and reaches for the sign. Walking back to the center of the stage, announcing that this is the last night of the summer tour and at the same time, the beginning for a new concert goer. Holding the sign above his head that reads, “This Is My First Concert”.
They filled the evening with great music from older hits to newer ones. With a twenty song setlist, the only time you could not see the joy in Dave and the band’s faces were when they left the stage after song number eighteen, “What’s Left of the Flag.” Shortly after, returning with “Black Friday Rule” and “Salty Dog” to finish the evening. Waving to the audience, and shaking hands with members of the front row. Dave reaches down by the center stage mic and picks up his own setlist he used and walks back over and hands it to the young man who’s first concert it was.
Sink or Swim
Every Saturday Night
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) (The Proclaimers cover)
Heart Attack American
Six Days a Week
(No More) Paddy’s Lament
The Likes of You Again
(Try) Keep the Man Down
Whistles the Wind
The Hand of John L. Sullivan
A Song of Liberty
The Croppy Boy ’98
Life Begins and Ends (but Never Fails)
Devil’s Dance Floor
Crushed (Hostile Nations)
Seven Deadly Sins
These Times Have Got Me Drinking / Tripping Up the Stairs
If I Ever Leave This World Alive
What’s Left of the Flag
Black Friday Rule
- Review: Sid Stratton’s album ‘Ashes to Diamonds’ - October 12, 2023
- Flogging Molly in Orlando: truly a celebration of the tour’s end - October 5, 2023
- Nothing More in Orlando: high energy and tons of crowd surfing - September 30, 2023