Hot Water Music are currently out on the road with Flogging Molly for the Green 17 Tour 2005! These shows are definitely going off as you can tell by this great review from punkit.net! For info on the tour plus upcoming dates check out the tour page href='http://media-02.epitaph.com/hwm/tour.html' target='_blank'>HERE!
Flogging Molly, Hot Water Music, The Riverboat Gamblers at the Avalon in Boston, MA
Counting this one, I've only been to three shows this year, but so far, all three have been off the hook. This one was no exception. Avalon is probably my least favorite venue in the Boston area, but the lineup was too good to pass up. Flogging Molly is quite possibly one of the best live bands in the world, and to bring Hot Water Music along for the ride makes just makes missing the show not an option. As weird as the combination of those two may seem, these are bands that are known for their killer live performances, and this much musical diversity in a punk rock show is not something we get very often.
The first band of the evening was The Riverboat Gamblers, a band I'd never heard of before this tour's official announcement back in January. However, it appears that they've been around for more than just a few years and have put out several full length records. For some reason I was expecting a rockabilly band, but these dudes play straight up punk rock and roll, with a healthy dose of attitude. Most of us there were not familiar with their songs, but it's safe to say that were all impressed with their stage presence. The singer in particular had this awkwardly frenzied quality to him that was plainly hilarious to watch, especially some of the jump moves he tried (mind you, tried). The band was a very good choice for openers, and although they screwed up their songs a few times, as the singer said, "This is rock and roll. It's supposed to be dirty, not clean and perfect like Good Charlotte."
The awesomeness that is Hot Water Music took the stage next. While they certainly don't enjoy the popularity of a band like Flogging Molly, I've always felt that HWM is one of the most respected bands in the punk rock community, and their loyal following was most certainly present here tonight. They opened as usual with "A Flight and a Crash," followed with the anthemic "Wayfarer." A venue as impersonal as the Avalon is probably not the best place to catch a band like HWM in their true element, but the band took full advantage of the big room, sounding as tight as I'd ever seen them before. At one point they joked about the absolutely frigid weather we're having up in Boston, making it clear that this is not what these bands are used to (being from Florida, Texas, and California). Seeing as they were only allotted a 45-minute set, they mostly focused on their last four records, with hardly any material prior to 1999's No Division. Some of the set highlights included "Jack of All Trades," "Free Radio Gainesville," "At the End of a Gun," "Trusty Chords," "Giver," and "End of the Line." When they were approaching the last few songs, some of the crowd's energy appeared to die down a bit, but was quickly reinvigorated once the first few notes of the closing on, "Remedy," were played. Seeing Hot Water Music is always a pleasure, and I can only hope that the next time they come around they play in a more intimate venue, as that's the setting where the band truly shines.
By now the crowd was more than ready for Flogging Molly. The Avalon was packed; if not to capacity, just about reaching that point. And as soon as the band walked on stage, the entire floor went into a mad frenzy that did not slow down until they left the stage. Flogging Molly just has that effect on people - you can't help but smile and get all pumped up whenever they're on stage. Of course, it certainly doesn't hurt when you play a town like Boston which has so much Irish in its blood. Flogging Molly started their set with "Screaming at the Wailing Wall," followed by the uproarious "The Likes of You Again." I looked at the floor and it was this mad sea of people constantly jumping up and down with their fists in the air. One of the best points in the evening came during the introduction to "Rebels of a Sacred Heart," which singer Dave King dedicated to the Catholic church, "for years of great material." But after that, he added, "wait, I'll dedicate it to all the heathens instead, because you can't be a good heathen before going through Catholicism first." Hilarious stuff.
The setlist included pretty much every classic Flogging Molly song, such as "Selfish Man," "Drunken Lullabies," "The Worst Day Since Yesterday," "Seven Deadly Sins," and "Swagger." "Black Friday Rule" was extended to include this long jam by guitarist Dennis Casey (who will soon be having a baby girl), and the "Devil's Dance Floor" featured the always pitch-perfect tin whistling by Bridget Regan. Dave King congratulated the city for having won two championships in recent months, and also dwelled into a little bit of politics every now and then:"The last time I tried to fly to America, I had some trouble because apparently I had the same name as a terrorist. I must be in some trouble I don't know about! The only thing I've ever bombed is my pants. But seriously, this isn't Land of the Free that I know." Luckily it was all lighthearted and mixed well with the band's on stage persona. As always, the band closed with their hugely popular "Salty Dog," before leaving the stage and coming back for an encore that included "Within a Mile of Home," and my favorite song of theirs, "What's Left of the Flag." The show ended with a bang.
For some great photos from the show check out href='http://www.punk-it.net/sreviews.htm' target='_blank'>punk-it.net.