Flogging Molly / Street Dogs - live in Asbury Park (Cover Artwork)

Flogging Molly / Street Dogs

live in Asbury Park (2007)

live show

Well, even though this was technically a festival, I only came for two bands: Street Dogs and Flogging Molly. Immediately I looked at the schedule and noticed the Street Dogs were set to play for an hour. True, they have three albums, but they usually play supporting roles and I don't think they play an hour even during their headlining gigs -- 45 minutes seems about right. They came out to a cool reception and a half-empty lot but their energy and the fact that dozens of people were filing in every minute made their show completely different at its finish.

Sans the unneeded crutch of playing any Dropkick Murphys songs, Mike and the gang came out with "Not Without a Purpose," leading into "Common People." It seems like all their songs are about the welfare of common people, but the latter track was specifically for everyone "who's sick of Paris Hilton [and] Britney Spears." While that may seem generic, they wear their hearts on their sleeves and bleed honesty. I've seen them in many different venues and situations, and they always give 100%, and today was no different. By the middle of their set, the sun was going down making a beautiful purple hue in the sky over the beach, and there was 1,500 kids dancing and singing along to the Boston punk rock. When they said the city was better than Sayreville (a neighboring NJ town with Starland Ballroom where many punk bands play), they actually sounded like they meant it. With many songs dedicated to soldiers and even more tunes dedicated to the drinkers in the crowd, they left us with "Fighter," and proved me wrong by being very entertaining for 60 minutes. Set list: (might have forgotten one)

  1. Not Without a Purpose
  2. Common People
  3. Strike a Blow
  4. Back to the World
  5. Fatty
  6. In Defense of Dorchester
  7. Tobe's Got a Drinking Problem
  8. There Is Power in a Union
  9. Drink Tonight
  10. Fading American Dream
  11. 2 Bottles
  12. Final Transmission
  13. You Alone
  14. Fighter
With only the stage lights illuminating the Jersey night, Flogging Molly came out after a forty-minute setup and antics by an overly eager/annoying roadie on the mics. They jumped into "Another Bag of Bricks" and didn't stop for four songs. "Laura" and "Whistles in the Wind" were the most effective songs of the night; the band looked most alive when playing those songs, probably because they're not songs they've been playing every show since 2003. Although, truth be told, the crowd was most riled up during classics like "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" and "Drunken Lullabies."

Dave King was his usual talkative self, and just couldn't get over the fact there was a Coors truck in the back of the lot (he would revisit this over three times). The band was professional and played songs at blistering speed, noticeably faster than their record counterparts, yet somehow sacrificed little melody. Bridget even broke strings on two different fiddles, and had to put some whistle songs earlier in the set so they could patch up the violins.

Like previously mentioned, Flogging Molly doesn't change their set list around much, and it's probably best not to see than more than once a year or so unless you're a diehard. However, they do split their set list evenly between all their albums, which can't be said by most bands.

Mike McColgan came out to do backups for "Within a Mile of Home," and after "What's Left of the Flag" the band quickly exited the stage. Dave came back with just an acoustic guitar, and after giving a shout out to The Pete from the Bouncing Souls and probably mentioning Guinness being better than Coors, he went into "Black Friday Rule." There are probably better songs of theirs to be turned acoustically ("The Worst Day Since Yesterday?") but the change of pace was welcomed, and he had some fun being able to hear the crowd shout the lyrics back at him. The rest of the band came back in the middle of the song and we knew the show was winding down. Before the last song, I noticed how happy the band was as this was their last show for a long time (Nathan looked especially pleased with a wide smile and a beer). Dave mentioned they were about to hop a plane to Ireland and record their fairly long-awaited fourth studio full-length with the newly re-anointed Matt Hensley. They played a quick "Seven Deadly Sins" and all was said and done (couldn't think of something less cliché). Street punks, big drunken Irish guys, and even bigger jocks all left happy and sweaty.

Set list:
  1. Another Bag Of Bricks
  2. Screaming at the Wailing Wall
  3. The Likes of You Again
  4. Swagger
  5. Selfish Man
  6. Whistles in the Wind
  7. Requiem for a Dying Song
  8. If I Ever Leave This World Alive
  9. Tobacco Island
  10. Laura
  11. Factory Girls
  12. Drunken Lullabies
  13. Rebels of the Sacred Heart
  14. Devil's Dance Floor
  15. Salty Dog
  16. Within a Mile of Home
  17. What's Left of the Flag
  18. Encore:
  19. Black Friday Rule
  20. Seven Deadly Sins