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On a night that was unseasonably warm for this time of the year, hundreds of fans of all ages packed 170 Russell for an unforgettable night. The excitement had been building since the second the doors opened, and you could feel in the air that this night was going to be special.

With the lights dimmed a feeling of eagerness was filling the venue. The giant LED screen at the rear of the stage lit up with Flogging Molly’s “Life Is Good” logo. The entire venue erupted.

They came on with a bang, starting with “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” and from there they had the entire crowd captivated. Lead singer Dave King, had drawn in the crowd hook, line and sinker.

There was barely a moment when the crowd was not jumping as if their lives depended on it, bodies everywhere on top of the ever growing moshpit.

Dave introduced the band members before tracks that embodied their skills as musicians.

Spencer Swain was brought into the spotlight as their banjo player, greeted the crowd and started into “Drunken Lullabies” this surged the crowd harder towards the stage.

Dave King spent the time between tracks talking about his time spent in Melbourne, his upbringing and the memories of family members, both here and gone. He connected on a level with every single person in attendance.

There are not many places in the world where playing a tin whistle would be met with a roar of approval, fitting of a gladiators battle, but at a Flogging Molly performance that is almost an expectation.

Despite it being late in the night, and warm inside the venue, the crowd were in full voice the entire night, and making the entire band feel not only welcome, but as if they were family returning from a long vacation.

The band wound down the show with a medley of powerful classics from Aretha Franklin and Queen, followed by the traditional encore ending with “Salty Dog’ ensuring every one in attendance left with the biggest smile on their face.

If Flogging Molly was not already on your radar, it’s time to give them a listen, and if you haven’t seen them by now, you would be mistaken not to go and see them on their next visit. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel sad, you’ll drink and you will dance. And when it comes to how to feel about a Flogging Molly performance, I will quote Dave King’s late mother;

Ensure you enjoy yourself. I certainly did”.

Words by Mathew Went

Behind the lens Lucas Packett