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Twas the night of St Paddy’s Day, and all through LA, the yokels were drinking, the Palladium had flowing stouts. As the patrons funneled into the Hollywood Palladium this St Patrick’s day, they all adorned some form of green. From Green shirts, to green hats, green necklaces, to even green hair ribbons. The lines at the beer stands were long as everyone one wanted to get into the spirit of the holiday. But the true reason that we all packed ourselves into the Palladium was to see the Celtic punk stars known as Flogging Molly. Flogging Molly planned their 2023 Winter Tour so preciously that they would be coming back to Los Angeles for a special St Patrick’s day show, bringing with them the always infamous Anti-Flag. This night I dawned my only green shirt I owned and was ready to celebrate the holiday like an Irishman.

I have been a fan of Anti-Flag since I was introduced to them by my friend Tamara. Yet, every time they come into town; I have never managed to make it to the show. So, I was so excited to finally be seeing them this night. AntI-Flag opened the night with “Hate Conquers All” and they were ready to light a fire under every person in the Palladium. Vocalist and lead guitarist Justin Sane was in the faces of every audience member that night. Shredding chaotic punk riffs and preaching the lyrics of anti-war and corporate greed. Bassist Chris No. 2 was a ball of kinetic energy running around the stage and jumping everywhere like a jack rabbit. Even launching himself 10ft into the air of his stacked bass amps. Rhythm guitarist Chris Head maintained the chaos of Sane’s riff’s and helped round the vocals. Drummer Pat Thetic has so much style and finesse to his beats for punk drumming, that it ties the whole band sounds together. Anti-Flag played songs like “The Press Corpse,” “This is the End,” “Laugh, Cry, Smile, Die,” “$1 Trillion Dollars,” “Turncoat,” “Die for the Government,” “American Attraction,” “Victory of Death,” and ending the night with “Brandenburg Gate.” Anti-Flag’s show was exactly the high energy, punk in your face kind of show I had always heard they put on. They said they’ll be back in October, and I hope to be there!

Finally, it was time to celebrate the holiday with the Irish natives themselves, Flogging Molly. Vocalist and guitarist Dave King stomped onto the stage ready to party. With a Guinness in one hand and his acoustic guitar in the other. As soon as he hit the stage, beer cans and bottles started flying through the air. Opening the night with “The Likes of You Again,” the sound of celtic punk permeated the noise space of the Palladium, and everyone was ready to dance a jib all night long. Something that Flogging Molly does that most punk bands don’t have, is round of their sound with more unconventional instruments. Having Bridget Regan switching between violin and the tin whistle. As well as having Spencer Swain playing both the mandolin and the banjo, and Matt Hensley on accordion. These are the instruments that really help Flogging Molly stand our in the punk scene and brings their Irish heritage into their sound. But the band still has the more traditional instrumentalist with Dennis Casey ripping on guitar, Nathen Maxwell bringing the groove on bass, and Mike Alonso blasting away on the drums. Never would I have thought I would see people moshing and crowd surfing to a banjo and an accordion, but when layered into Flogging Molly’s sound, there where people coming over the barricade all night long to songs like “Swagger,” “The Kilburn High Road,” “Drunken Lullabies,” “The Hand of John L. Sullivan,” “Tobacco Island,” “The Croppy Boy ’98,” “Float,” “Devil’s Dance Floor,” “Seven Deadly Sins,” “What’s Left of the Flag,” and ending with a two song encore of “Black Friday Rule,” and “Salty Dog.”

Flogging Molly playing a St Patrick’s Day show in Los Angeles has become a tradition over the last few years, and I was very fortunate to finally get to celebrate the day with them. The number of fans who showed up in spirit wearing green attire, drinking Guinness, and in a party mood was inspiring. Anti-Flag also lived up to and exceeded all the hype I’ve heard from their live shows, and need to make more of an effort to make it to their shows. Flogging Molly truly knows how to bring the Irish spirit out of everyone. I normally don’t find myself celebrating this holiday, but I may have found my new tradition. On St Patrick’s day everyone is Irish, and I felt like I was a citizen of the country this night.


Matt Martinez

Editor - Orange County

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