Drunken Lullabies – A review of Flogging Molly in concert

A sold out crowd waited two hours in standing room only as various beers spilled on the floor — it was definitely an alternative way to spend Valentine’s Day.

But the opening act, “The Architects,” from Kansas City made it worth the wait. Their punk rock sound set the tone at the Ritz Ybor, where Flogging Molly stopped as part of its Green 17 Tour on Sunday night.

“Our songs are about drugs and drinking, and this is one of them,” said The Architects’ lead singer Brandon Phillips.

The second act, “Frank Turner,” created a pub-like atmosphere with its rebellious anthems about government and love. As their set finished, people jammed their way through the crowd to get a better view for the headliners. 

As the lights dimmed and a green overlay came over a black, starry background, loud yells and Irish chants filled the room.

“Hello, Tampa,” said Flogging Molly’s lead singer Dave King.

The crowd raised their cups as if a Celtic feast was about to begin among the sounds of the accordion, banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, drums and electric piano.

American Celtic punk rocked the house well into the night. Flogging Molly drew a diverse crowd of people in their 20s and 50s.

It’s no wonder their album was dubbed “one of the most important CDs of the year, if not the decade” by Alternative Press in 2008.