Flogging Molly does it again! This is the second time I’ve shot this band at the Fox Theater in Oakland (almost a year ago to the day), and it was even better than last time! As before, the Fox Theater was completely sold out, full of wild, screaming, bouncing fans, some sporting kilts, some sporting clovers and other Flogging Molly gear, and all sporting smiles.
Robert Schmidt started off the set, plucking out the chords to Drunken Lullabies, one of my favorite Flogging Molly songs. From the first few notes, the crowd immediately went nuts, bouncing up and down and screaming their approval. The band bounced around just as much, with Dave King and Dennis Casey chasing each other around the stage, with the crowd roaring their approval the entire time.
Drunken Lullabies was clearly a crowd favorite, and Flogging Molly knew best how to encourage the prerequisite drunken debauchery that goes with it best!
Next to Schmidt, the nutty Dennis Casey demonstrated once again that he is one of the most energetic, fun-loving musicians on the stage today, kicking his legs and leaping into the air time and time again. One of the best shots of my career was thanks to Casey’s antics on stage last year.
While I was shooting, I noticed a family with a few children in the front row, just behind me. Though the little boy was camera-shy, the rest of the family wasn’t, and they all were clearly having a grand time. But I wasn’t the only one to notice them.
“We’ve got the Brady Bunch down here,” cackled King, pointing at the family and welcoming them to the show. The family laughed, as did the crowd. He cracked a few other jokes, then proceeded to speak a few words to the audience before bounding into the next song of the set.
King is always a blast to have on stage. Between his half-comical, half-insane facial expressions and hilarious running commentary, if there is one entertainer who knows how to please fans with good-natured irreverence, it’s Dave King.
When I first shot Flogging Molly, I joked that I never imagined using the words “epic” and “accordion” in the same sentence, but then I saw Matthew Hensley perform. This man is a master of the keys, be they vertical or horizontal. It’s incredible to watch him handle that behemoth on stage, weaving note after perfect note into each song.
To the left of Hensley on the stage was Nathen Maxwell, on bass guitar. Maxwell’s range of facial expression is rivaled only by King, and he is just as entertaining to watch. He is also a genius on the bass, resonating every song right in my chest. Maxwell and Hensley sang chorus into the same microphone that night, clearly enjoying themselves.
It would be criminal to fail to mention King’s wife, Bridget. Though she spent much of the evening on her violin, she is capable of the most beautiful, yet haunting melodies on her tin whistle. Then again, she can be just as lively with that instrument as with the strings!
Last year, I just couldn’t seem to get a good angle on the backbone of the band, drummer George Schwindt. But this year I could just barely catch him peeking out from behind his kit, grinning and banging away.
As always, it was a pleasure to shoot Flogging Molly. They are by far my favorite band to shoot, see, hear and hang out with. After the show, Dennis Casey and Nathen Maxwell came down to greet their fans a bit closer, proving just what a great bunch of folk they really are. I can’t wait until they’re in town next year!
Check out the rest of the photos!