Rain couldn’t dampen the excitement in Rochester Hills for the opening of the Flogging Molly tour with Gogol Bordello and special guest Mariachi El Bronx.
The show started early, at 7:00 pm, resulting in a light turnout for Mariachi El Bronx. But, by the time Gogol Bordello took the stage at 8:00 pm, the crowd was in full attendance. Googol Bordello played a 14-song set opening with “We Rise Again,” “Not a Crime,” and “My Gypsy Auto Pilot.” Gogol Bordello’s animated stage presence is always satisfying and left the crowd in high spirits for the Flogging Molly show. It is important to note this was when the storm moved in and the Meadow Brook Music Festival is an outdoor venue.
Founding members of Flogging Molly, Dave King and Bridget Regan (herself a native Detroiter) now live in Detroit and many Detroiters consider the band to be “local.” However, it’s well-known the band is named for the venue in Los Angeles where their unique sound was crafted.
Flogging Molly has made a solid connection with Detroit, not only by Dave and Bridget’s choice to call it their home, but the album Speed of Darkness is based on the hardships and the perseverance of Detroit. Their connection with the city makes any show in the Detroit area a special event.
The Flogging Molly set opened with a recording of the traditional solemn song by Brendan Behan (later made famous by the Dubliners), “The Auld Triangle.” The band took the stage while dark and the lights came up and they transitioned to “Another Bag of Bricks,” followed by “Wailing Wall,” “Selfish Man” and “Revolution.” By this time, the rain was intense, guests with upper seats moved down into the covered area and everyone just made room. The folks with lawn seating got pretty wet. Nobody gave up though, everyone stayed for the full show.
They played 17 songs and another two in an encore set. The excitement and energy Flogging Molly brings to the stage is always contagious and positive. Flogging Molly is categorized as an “Irish/Punk” band. However, anyone familiar with Irish traditional music will recognize the melodies and structures the band employs. There is in-arguable continuity that runs through traditional folk music that connects with the bands particular sound.