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DROPKICK MURPHY’S and FLOGGING MOLLY at Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC 19/6/18

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On June 19, 2018, Celtic punk bands Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly took the stage in downtown Raleigh, NC at Red Hat Amphitheater. There were thousands of fans in attendance, including a large presence of first responders and military. First up on the list for the night was Flogging Molly and they kicked the night off with their high energy song “(No More) Paddy’s Lament”. Things were quickly off to a good and lively start. Their fast-paced crowd connection and songs like “Drunken Lullabies”, “Devil’s Dance Floor”, and “The Seven Deadly Sins” easily got the crowd excited. The sixteen song set was one filled with a certain kind of atmosphere and emotional stage presence that just drew you in the longer you watched. It’s performance like this that always set themselves apart from others because of such lively energetic emotions and lyrics. As several more songs were played things were finally coming to a close for Flogging Molly. They ended things perfectly with their song “Salty Dog”.

As things ended for Flogging Molly next up on the list was headlining act, Dropkick Murphy’s. As the crowd grew anxious waiting for the band to take the stage you could practically feel the excitement building in the venue. The lights dimmed and the crowd cheered loudly for the band. Moments later the band emerged onto the stage in silhouette behind a giant curtain draped in front of the stage. As the curtain fell to the ground and the intro to the song “The State of Massachusetts” played, the crowd went wild looking ahead at the band on stage and singing along with the song. With their bright flashing lights and the massive band logo behind them, the stage set up itself was rather hard to forget seeing. Up next on the list was “The Boys Are Back”. During this song, fans got to get up close to vocalists Ken Casey and Al Barr as they jumped into the crowd multiple times. As the show went on I noticed that both bands were able to make the large venue feel as if it was a small intimate one which really pulled the crowd in closer. As things were beginning to come to a close for the night the band had three more songs left for the fans; “Rose Tattoo”, “Out of Our Heads”, and “Going Out in Style”. Though this was to be the end of the set fans were treated to an incredible encore moments later. The encore had some pretty great songs in it and two in particular stuck out in my mind when I thought back on them. “ Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced” had some very special energy. Things were slower and the song gave the illusion that things had come to a standstill for a few moments. The final song of the night was a cover of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, and it truly was the most perfect way to end such a lively set.


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