Flogging Molly Storms the Starland Ballroom  

Pop Break Live: Flogging Molly, Anti-Dlag, Jon Snodgrass at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ,

Words & Photos: Patrick Gilrane

On Thursday November 3, 2017 Celtic Rockers Flogging Molly played to a near capacity crowd at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville N.J. Also on the nights ticket were veteran Pittsburg based punk band Anti-Flag and folk artist Jon Snodgrass.

Flogging Molly has been a trend setting, influential force in the Celtic rock scene since1997 and was formed by Dublin native Dave King. Flogging Molly’s roots began in an L.A. pub called Molly Malone’s where they played every Monday night, and continues to this day with Molly Malone’s being credited for the bands name, Flogging Molly.

Flogging Molly is Vanguard Record’s recording artist, whose members include Dave King on guitar and vocals, Bridget Regan on violin, tin whistle and vocals, Dennis Casey on guitar and vocals, Matt Hensley on accordion and vocals, Nathen Maxwell on bass and vocals, Bob Schmidt on mandolin, banjo and vocals and Mike Alonso on Drums. Flogging Molly is currently touring in support of their recently released studio album “Life is Good.”

Flogging Molly also does something very unique called The Salty Dog Cruise each spring, which departs from Miami Florida for four days of sun, drink, food and killer music. This coming April will mark my third trip on the boat as it’s called and I can’t wait. Some of the finest people I’ve met make the pilgrimage to South Florida from all over the world each spring to attend, they call themselves shipmates and I’m one of them!

The lights go down, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” blast over the PA system and the crowd immediately wakes up, its show time in Sayreville NJ. Flogging Molly takes the stage to “The Hand of John L. Sullivan” and the party starts, Irish style. Flogging Molly music is a combination of Irish Trad with rock / punk influences, and takes the audience on a ride with a combination of Irish melodies hard driving rock and punk power chord’s. The set continues with “Swagger’” Saints & Sinners’” Float,” and one of my favorites “Tobacco Island” As the night goes on you can feel the momentum building in the crowd who are singing, dancing and crowd surfing. At one point I was standing there looking into the crowd, paying attention to the interaction and it dawned on me, Flogging Molly doesn’t have fans, they have a community, and tonight that community came together!

Set List

The Hand of John L. Sullivan
Selfish Man
Drunken Lullabies
The Days We’ve Yet To Meet
Requiem For A Dying Song
Saints & Sinners
Life In A Tenement Square
Tobacco Island
Life is Good
Rebels of the Sacred Heart
Devil’s Dance floor
If I ever leave this World Alive
What’s Left of the Flag
The Seven Deadly Sins


Salty Dog

The second artist of the night was Pittsburg based punkers Anti-Flag (pictured above). Anti-flag is a Spinefarms Records recording artist whose latest album American Fall dropped the day after this show on November 4. Anti-Flag is a veteran punk band originally formed in 1988 and includes band members Justin Sane on guitar and vocals, Pat Thetic on drums, Chris Head on guitar and vocals and Chris Barker on bass and vocals.

Anti-Flag is an absolute crowd favorite whose music delivers an anti racism, anti fascism message in a non-apologetic in your face kind of way, which I find refreshing.

Anti-Flag took the stage and played a mix of old and new songs including a bunch from their new work including “American Attraction,” Finish What We Started,‘” Liar,” and Throw it Away. Anti-Flag’s combination of incendiary lyrics with punk rhythm and driving lead guitar work created an almost chaotic environment at the Starland Ballroom, just what the night needed!

Jon Snodgrass (pictured above) got things started this evening. Jon is a folk punk artist whose been active since 1991. Jon has collaborated with a list of impressive artist including Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan and the Descendants to name a few. Jon was a great addition to an already impressive line up.

In closing this was a great show at a great venue and would like to thank the Starland Ballroom for hosting, Flogging Molly for the years of incredible music , Anti-flag for being real punk rockers and Jon Snodgrass for the awesome contribution to an already great show!

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.