Weeknight concerts are sometimes a hit-or-miss affair because of a light crowd (or we should say the tough ones brave enough to call in late to work the next day). That wasn’t the case this past Tuesday as Flogging Molly rallied a flock of dedicated music fans at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.
The night had an easy start with some good tunes from The Pasadena Band, named after their hometown in Maryland. Concert early birds were treated to the band’s aggressive singer-songwriter type rock with occasional funky reggae beats and lingering melodies, somewhat akin to what the band 311 has going on. Though, of course, their set was short as an opening act but they’re worthy of checking out for a full set next time they’re around.
Continuing the run of opening acts not-to-miss was The Mighty Stef who, though from Dublin, champion an alternative rock sound without the traditional Irish music elements that Flogging Molly incorporates. Mostly bright and energetic The Mighty Stef had some first-time listeners talking after their set. Two songs that stood out from their set were their new single “The Nightwatchman of the Iveagh Flats” and the slower, darker “Death Threats” off of an EP of the same name.
Flogging Molly met a surge of energy for their set with a small pit forming in the middle of The Cap’s open-floor orchestra level early in the set (despite the signs on The Cap’s doors about not moshing during the show).
The band broke into a brief acoustic set about halfway through their time on stage – “a set to rest our dancers’ feet,” Dave King remarked as he was introducing “The Sun Never Shines (On Closed Doors).” For a set full of driving rock this feature of the show added a swing of dynamic that was done well.
Of course the setlist included “Devil’s Dance Floor,” “Float,” “Drunken Lullabies,” and “Salty Dog,” – songs that Flogging Molly wouldn’t make it out of Port Chester alive for not playing. But, rather than simply getting on stage to play a bushel of songs before moving on to the next gig, they took the time to make a few dedications and tributes throughout the evening. Early on a “Whistles the Wind” was dedicated to Conor McGee, a fan recently passed, introduced by King with a few words about Conor and his family who were in the crowd. “The Likes of You Again” was dedicated to the band’s guitarist and Rochester native Dennis Connor and “The Sun Never Shines (On Closed Doors)” to The Pasadena Band’s Joey Harkum, both of whom had recent losses in their families.
It seems like the fact of a concert falling on a weeknight inevitably looms over it, sometimes dampening the experience. While possibly true for this Flogging Molly show, especially for those dragging their feet to work in the wee hours of the following morning, one takeaway is this: Don’t underestimate a weeknight show.
If you missed your chance at seeing Flogging Molly on their current tour, the band is planning on releasing a new album sometime next year (their first in four years), so we may perhaps see them in New York again soon.