Flogging Molly | 09.15 | New Jersey

By: Martin Halo

Flogging Molly :: 09.15.07 :: Stone Pony :: Asbury Park, NJ

Flogging Molly
With the ghostly visions of a deserted costal relic slowly fading from Asbury Park's tormented, drug-induced memory, the last year of lawlessness is finally upon us. Renovation projects for high income housing and seaside facelifts have persevered through the corruption and street crime which has kept Asbury spiraling downward in recent years.

The first annual Tillie Town Festival, named after the ominous face of peeling paint on the Palace Amusements Building - which Bruce Springsteen most famously immortalized prior to pressing Born to Run - is geared toward reviving and celebrating Asbury's long tradition of cultural deliverance.

"Tillie is the spirit of rock n' roll in Asbury Park," said resident house promoter Kyle Brendle as he dodged road cases being shuffled through the backstage causeway. "The Stony Pony is the only thing left around here for musicians playing the circuit." The venue is a snarling workhorse for national talent who want to perform in a more intimate environment, while simultaneously acting as the support system for the sweat and struggles of local hopefuls.

Just as the sun was preparing its encore over the Atlantic Ocean and the angels laid their symphonic explosions over the clouds, the members of the Los Angeles based Irish punk ensemble Flogging Molly descended from their idling tour bus, drinks in hand to casually meet the spotlight as Iggy and his Stooges blasted from the house speakers. Consisting of Dave King (vox/guitars), Bridget Regan (fiddle), Dennis Casey (guitars), Matt Hensley (accordion), Robert Schmidt (banjo), Nathen Maxwell (bass) and George Schwindt (drums), the band's summer road leg came to an end at the Tillie Town, one last performance before Flogging Molly retreat to the Irish countryside for the recording of their next album.

Flogging Molly
The true pleasure of the evening's performance - besides the insanely adorable Irish women roaming no further than arm's length of the bar - was a musical experience focused on the liquor soaked fuzzy haze of Irish anthems. From behind Maxwell's bass amplifiers the crowd swayed, intertwined as one free-flowing organism. Pits whirl pooled and crowd surfers screamed over a sea of denim jackets. King greeted the screaming faithful with, "You seem like a lively fucking bunch, that is for sure."

The set included the bulk of the 2006 compilation Whiskey on a Sunday. After the booming chorus in "Whistles the Wind," King took a moment to open a splashing foam pint of thick, black beer as he cried, "I'll crack one open for you bastards!"

This is a moment of clarity where the venue seems to stand still as seagulls soared overheard. Every defining characteristic seems to bleed through. The band took a few seconds to compose themselves while the audience's frenzy became calm. Peering back over the amplifiers, Maxwell, with a simple eye shrug, seemed to say, "Wow!" It felt like a dreaded holiday gathering when, just for a moment, all the drama and bickering ceases, everyone on the same page, experiencing and savoring the same moment.

Before the fragile bliss turned into awkwardness, the band launched into the string-driven "Drunken Lullabies." "Selfish Man" and "Within a Mile of Home" capped the set.

Opening the performance and earning honorable mention was The Street Dogs led by ex-Dropkick Murphy's frontman Mike McClogan.

JamBase | The Garden State
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[Published on: 9/25/07]

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NickBoeka Wed 9/26/2007 01:09PM
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what's up with that last paragraph?? completely doesn't fit....

laxma13951 Wed 9/26/2007 01:48PM
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this was not the last stop of their tour, I saw them in Baltimore 9/17 (halfway point to St. Pats).

MartinHalo Wed 9/26/2007 02:14PM
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Laxma13951, Nathen Maxwell and I had a very long friendly chat before they hit the stage and he said it was their last gig, Dave King also said it to the audience during the performance, and on the bands tour section I don't see any dates after the 15th. If there was a gig, my apologies for the inaccuracy.

spaceface7 starstarstarstar Wed 9/26/2007 03:45PM
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Wow, I never thought id see a Flogging Molly review on jambase...GOOD STUFF

kcPHisher Wed 9/26/2007 08:00PM
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Just as the sun was preparing its encore over the Atlantic Ocean?

raiducks503 star Wed 9/26/2007 09:15PM
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easy but good call. I was just going to say the same thing...

laxma13951 Thu 9/27/2007 06:28AM
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I stand corrected, I dont know how I got mixed up but I saw the Dropkick Murpheys not FLogging Molly. Sorry for screwing that up. The fart in my brain smells horrible.

MartinHalo Thu 9/27/2007 09:02AM
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the sun bouches off the jersey shore beaches and glistens on the water late in the evening. If you are looking at the water, even though the sun sets behind you its presense is still known. It is is kind of like an encore...

MartinHalo Thu 9/27/2007 09:51AM
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typo... late afternoon. EARLY evening.

johnnygoff starstarstarstar Thu 9/27/2007 11:51AM
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"It felt like a dreaded holiday gathering when, just for a moment, all the drama and bickering ceases, everyone on the same page, experiencing and savoring the same moment." ---nice Halo.

thanks for the Irish love bro. thanks jambase for publishing this.

very cool.

Great BIg Sea, Flogging MOlly, Molly Malones, Dropkick Murphys, etc...--- all great "Irish" jambands...

Cadberry Nortainbrug starstarstar Thu 9/27/2007 03:16PM
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The last paragraph was a bit flowery as far as word choise, but over all followed the genral feel of the article. Wish I was there.