Penns Peak is a concert venue in Jim Thorpe PA and my first experience there was last night when I was lucky enough to see Flogging Molly and openers Lucero.
I have seen both bands previously when each was touring with (oddly enough) Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. The prior performance by Lucero was as an opener for FT and like this one was abbreviated to about 40 minutes. This band has been around for over 15 years and has produced a 12 albums of new and live material and after a deep dive into their music last year I can attest to how great this band is. Unfortunately, a short opening set only wets the appetite. The band members are top notch musicians and they got the show off to a great start, hi lighting material from their 2018 release “Among the Ghosts” By the time they got to the barroom rocker”For the Lonely Ones” the band was in high gear but ended their set. This band is one my watch list for headlining shows when they can really stretch out and dig deeper into their catalogue.
Flogging Molly has produced 8 albums since their debut “Swagger” in 2000 including Live at the Greek Theater from 2010. (A must-hear if you’ve never seen the band live. the accompanying videos are a great intro into how great this band is live). Their blend of Irish folk, punk and rock and energetic live shows ( complete with mosh pit) have gained them a reputation of one of the best touring bands around.
2 great versions from the Greek theater concert ( Yours truly had a technical glitch with his phone during these 2 songs at last night ‘s show)
FM played music spanning their entire career hi lighted by crowd favorites Drunken Lullabies and Seven Deadly Sins. An unexpected high point for me was Float which is a concert staple for the band but seemed to take on added resonance last night. Dave King definitely placed himself in the top tier of frontmen that I’ve ever seen with his energetic acoustic guitar playing , his stories and banter between songs, references to his early life in Ireland and loving, funny shoutouts to his departed parents.
It only adds to the everyman vibe of the band that after the final encore, the lights come up and the PA plays “Always look on the Bright Side of Life” (a song all Monty Python fans will know) while Dave King stays on stage to dance around and say hi to the crowd.
All in all , a great first concert of what I hope to be another great year of live music for me.