LIVE: Flogging Molly, Anti-Flag and Skinny Lister at the Historic Landmark Theater
Review by Kelly Besaw
Irish-American punk band Flogging Molly stopped at the beautiful, historic Landmark Theater in Syracuse on March 1. Flogging Molly is on tour supporting their latest album Anthem released in September on Rise Records. They brought along with them fellow legendary punk band Anti-Flag and Skinny Lister in support.
Skinny Lister, the British folk band traveled all the way from the UK to play a handful of dates on the tour. The band was well received by the crowd and played some entertaining tunes that included “Company at the Bar” and “Hamburg Drunk.” The five-piece band sounded more like a ten-piece as they put their heart and soul into their performance and did a great job of interacting with the audience. I will definitely be checking out more of their music and hope they come back to the United States soon.
Up next were punk rock legends, Anti-Flag. The band is currently on tour in support of their 2023 release Lies They Tell Our Children. The album is their first to feature multiple guest musicians from Rise Against, Bad Religion, and Silverstein to name a few. Lead singer Justin Sane, along with guitarists and backing vocalists Chris Head and Chris No. 2 didn’t stop moving for a second from the moment they took the stage to the very last note. Pat Thetic beat the heck out of the drums behind them the entire time. They played a high-energy set that included an awesome medley of famous punk songs, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (The Clash), “God Save the Queen” (Sex Pistols), “Rise Above” (Black Flag), “Fall Back Down” (Rancid), “If the Kids Are United” (Sham 69), “She” (Green Day), and “Blitzkrieg Bop” (The Ramones). Wow! That one got everyone singing along. Anti-Flag put on an amazing show, I would love to see them do a longer set at some point.
Celtic punk band, Flogging Molly, took the stage as their song “There’s Nothing Left Pt. 1” played through the sound system. The band started playing the song live toward the end, showing the contrast in sound between the studio recording and their live performances. I may be biased because I love seeing Flogging Molly, but I swear that they get better every time I see them.
Lead singer, Dave King was joined on stage by Dennis Casey (guitar) Matt Hensley (accordion), Nathen Maxwell (bass guitar), Spencer Swain (mandolin/banjo/guitar), and Mike Alonso (drums/percussion). Missing from the typically seven-piece ensemble was violinist Bridget Regan. King told the fans that unfortunately, Bridget had fractured her arm on the first stop of the tour but would be rejoining them this coming Saturday. Best wishes to Bridget as she returns to the stage. The rest of the band worked extra hard to compensate for the missing violin and tin whistle interludes and did a fantastic job.
One thing I can say about all the members of Flogging Molly is that they put everything they have into their live shows and they always look like they are having a ton of fun doing it. The vibe is infectious. The crowd had a great time, dancing, clapping, singing along, and cheering. Dave King was in great spirits dancing, running around the stage, donning devil horns, and leading audience singalongs. They played an absolutely perfect blend of their older hits with just the right amount of new music sprinkled in. Notable tunes included, “Swagger,” “Drunken Lullabies,” “Tobacco Island,” “Crushed (Hostile Nations),” and “If I Ever Leave This World Alive.” I also really enjoyed their newer song, “These Times Have Got Me Drinking.” The band exited the stage briefly after ending their main set with “What’s Left of the Flag.” King even handed out a few cans of Guinness on his way offstage.
After a few moments, King reappeared and treated fans to a solo intro to “Black Friday Rule.” The rest of the band joined in and escalated the song to a massive crescendo. They ended the night with what is likely considered their most popular song, “Salty Dog” before saying goodnight to the Syracuse fans. If you have never seen Flogging Molly live, I really cannot recommend it enough. I look forward to seeing them every time they come around and I always have a great time. There is still plenty of time to catch them on this tour, so don’t miss out.
Check out the photos from the show.