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Flogging Molly Brought the Spirit of Ireland to PSU

Posted by Charlee Redman on 03/10 at 03:57 PM

Flogging Molly and Scythian brought the real spirit of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day to Penn State’s Alumni Hall Wednesday night. The crowd was enthusiastic, decked out in green shirts, beads, and kilts. Some students even brought a flag to wave during the show.

Scythian’s opening set was a bit of a surprise; the unknown band had the audience dancing jigs, shouting, and jumping from the first notes they played. They fused musical styles together, ranging from more traditional Irish reels to the “voodoo” zydeco “Hey Mama Ya”, a polka, a kind of disco-techno combination, and an impromptu mashup including Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” and House of Pain’s “Jump Around”.

Violinists Josef Crosby and Alexander Fedoryka displayed their virtuosic fiddling, running through complicated melodies that drove students to clap and try step dancing (some actually did it). Mosh pits appeared throughout the show, punctuated by clapping and the shaking of fists, especially during the rapid-fire “Hava Nagila” when the band split the audience into competing sides.

The intense energy Scythian kindled and stoked came close to bursting when Flogging Molly took the stage to a Transylvanian theme and ominous red lights. Singer and guitarist Dave King’s growling Dublin brogue came out first to a chorus of excited screams.

The band played a mix of new and old songs, including “Requiem for a Dying Song”, “The Lightning Storm”, and “You Won’t Make a Fool Out of Me” off their 2008 album Float. Crowd favorites like “Drunken Lullabies”, with its stomping beat and distinctive banjo melody, re-energized the audience to a dancing frenzy. The band took a few songs in the middle of the set to go acoustic, something King said they haven’t had the chance to do for a while.

Flogging Molly went back to their roots, dedicating songs to Molly Malone’s (the bar where they first played back in 1997) and King’s wife, grandmother, father, and servicemen. King’s wife joined the band for a few songs to play the traditional Irish tin whistle. They reminded the audience of the history of Ireland’s troubles with the epic “Rebels of the Sacred Heart”, prefaced by King’s reflection on how far the conflict has come since Oliver Cromwell tried to exterminate the Irish way back in 1659.

The concert was only a few days after the insanity of State Patty’s Day, but Flogging Molly and Scythian showed Penn State what it really means to be Irish and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; King even made fun of a student for wearing a shirt that said “State Patty’s Day”, since the Irish say “Paddy”.

It was truly a concert to remember, energetic and a fresh burst of talent for the local music scene. Hopefully the bands will return to State College in the not too distant future.

Check out some more photos of the show here.

{name} Author: Charlee Redman
Bio: Charlee Redman is currently a sophomore studying English and French at Penn State. She enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, making ambient noise with the local band The Roaring Kittens, walking, and drinking lots of coffee. Although she likes many styles of music, some of her favorites are folk, indie, classical, and electronic. Her favorite bands at the moment are The National, Iron & Wine, Of Montreal, and Radiohead.

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