Live Review: Flogging Molly + The Interrupters @ Red Hat Amphitheater – June 21st 2022

Celtic punk band Flogging Molly and California ska-punk band the Interrupters have embarked on a Co-Headlining Summer US Tour.  Each of the bands have new material on deck, with The Interrupters set to release In The Wild in August, and Flogging Molly pulling in right behind them with their new album, Anthem, set for an early September release.  The tour kicked off on June 7th in Indianapolis, and rolled into Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh NC on a warm and sunny evening this past Tuesday, where we made sure to catch the show.

With four bands on the bill, the evening started early in the bright sunshine as London-based reggae-punk band The Skints took the stage.  Their genre-bending sound that mixed ska-punk with traditional reggae, dancehall, and ska, as well as a dash of pop and straight rollicking punk, was a huge hit with the building crowd.  Despite sharing lead vocals amongst three members, it was multi-instrumentalist Marcia Richards who grabbed the attention from center stage, while bandmates, including singer/guitarist Joshua Waters Rudge, singer/drummer Jamie Kyriakides, and bassist Jonathan Doyle each contributed to the head turning performance that was winning over the audience with each new song.  Based on the crowd reaction in Raleigh, it’s safe to say The Skints made some new fans, and provided an ideal example of why you should go to shows early and catch the openers…  You just might discover your next favorite band. 

Next up on the bill was California psychobilly trio Tiger Army.  Led by singer/guitarist Nick 13, The band grabbed onto the energy created by the skints and shifted it into another gear.  They played a burning set that mixed elements of rockabilly delivered with a punk rock ferocity.  The interplay between bassist Djordje Stijepovic and Nick 13 was something to behold, as they faced off center stage, often coming together in front of drummer Mike Fasano as they tore through each song.  If the audience was buzzing after The Skints, they were positively exhilarated by the time Tiger Army triumphantly crossed the finish line.

Rollicking co-headliners The Interrupters went up on stage just as the sun was going down.  Having endured COVID touring setbacks throughout 2020 and 2021, the band were recently hit once again, having to drop off multiple shows due to a positive COVID case within their touring party.  So, there was an extra feeling of elation that they were freshly back on the road as they kicked off their set with “Take Back the Power,” the leadoff track from their 2014 debut The Interrupters.  From there, the set kicked into full overdrive.  The Bivona brothers, guitarist Kevin, bassist Justin, and drummer Jesse were on fire and seemed to be loving every minute of performing.  There were smiles all around as they attacked their instruments with an infectious sense of jubilation that spread right through the crowd.  Singer and frontwoman Aimee Allen, who performs under the moniker Aimee Interrupter, was a bundle of energy prowling the stage and leaning over the edge to close the gap to the wildly cheering crowd while belting out her vocals with intense emotion.  The crowd was engaged from the start as both the performance and setlist were spot on.  The band mixed crowd favorites from across their catalog, with two new songs, “Anything Was Better,” and “In The Mirror,” from upcoming album In The Wild.  They hit fan favorites like “By My Side,” and “A Friend Like Me,” and even teased a few covers including “Keep ‘Em Separated” by the Offspring, before settling into a cover of Bad Religion’s “Sorrow.”  The Interrupters are a band that leave it all on the stage and the show in Raleigh was no exception, their hook-laden songs, energetic delivery, and broad smiles are contagious.  By the time they closed with “She’s Kerosene,” the crowd was absolutely raving.

Los Angeles-based seven-piece, Flogging Molly have always been a band best experienced live.  Their rowdy mix of traditional Irish music with the savage intensity of punk, has been honed by relentless touring around the world on stages large and small.  If there was a band that would be up to matching the marker thrown down by the Interrupters set, it was Flogging Molly… And match it, they did!  Frontman Dave King, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, led out the band, greeting the crowd on his way to the center of the stage, and as everyone took their places, they launched into the anthemic “Drunken Lullabies,” and proceeded to tear through a raucous fist-pumping set that never let up.  The band consisting of Bridget Regan on violin/tin whistle/vocals, Matt Hensley on accordion/vocals, Dennis Casey on guitar/vocals, Nathen Maxwell on bass/vocals, Spencer Swain on banjo/mandolin/guitar/vocals, and Mike Alonso driving the beat on drums were tight and sharp as they delivered wave after wave of passionate adrenaline-fueled music.  The setlist, surveyed the band’s catalog with highlights including, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive,” “Tobacco Island,” and “Devil’s Dance Floor.”  Like the Interrupters before them, they also threw in a few new songs, including “A Song of Liberty,” and “These Times Have Got Me Drinking,” from their upcoming album, Anthem.  Despite closing out a long evening of high intensity music and performance, neither the band nor the frenzied crowd wavered.  The energy was electric and unceasing.  By the time Flogging Molly hit the finish line with a one-two punch of “What’s Left of the Flag,” and “The Seven Deadly Sins,” both band and crowd were sweat-soaked and triumphant.

Flogging Molly + The Interrupters with Tiger Army and The Skints @ Red Hat Amphitheater
Photos © Dan Kulpa // Clashdan Photography

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