Flogging Molly along with Russkaja and Vandoliers for their second to last show this tour stopped by the Oakland Fox Theater. This Flogging Molly tour lineup had everything from alternative country music to ska punk to Floggings Molly’s Irish American folk punk rock.
First up was Vandoliers, formed in 2015 this six-piece band coming from Dallas, Texas, an alternative country with a little bit of punk sound. I was lucky enough to arrive just as the Vandoliers was on stage playing Sixteen Years, a track from their third album Forever.
A song that stood out to me was Bluebonnet Highway, it was inspired by the individual experiences of Josh Fleming from how he grew up in a small town near Fort Worth to moving to Forth Worth when he was 17, then later on in his life moving to Dallas and starting a band.They ended their set with a cover of 500 Miles by The Proclaimers. Vocalist Josh Fleming and the rest of the Vandoliers did a wonderful job of pulling in the crowd and getting them fired up, especially fiddler Travis Curry shirtless performance haha…I found the Vandoliers very entertaining and would recommend you see them if they ever come near your town.
Second up was Russkaja, this 7-piece ska punk band comes all the way from Vienna, Austria. Russkaja opened their set with the song Kosmopolit from their album “No One is Illegal”. followed up with their newest single “Russki Style”. After a few songs, there was a heartfelt moment when vocalist Georgij Makazaria stopped the music and talked to the crowd to let them know the band was all about peace and fuck war and are against all wars specially the invasion of Ukraine, and that Russkaja has many members of different nationalities like Austria, Italy, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.
Near the end of their performance, Georgij Makazaria came out with a red flag with the peace symbol on it and waving it back and forth, also on stage during their entire performance, on one of the amplifiers they had a stitched up a flag with light blue and red colors with a peace sign in the middle which is my guess it symbolized peace between Ukraine and Russia.
They also performed a version of “Wake Me Up” (Avicii cover) and “Tulsa Time” (Don Williams cover) which they executed very well. Russkaja closed their set with their immensely popular song “Energia”, the title track of their 2013 album full length!
Now it was time for the headliner of the night: Flogging Molly. The American Irish band started their set with “Drunken Lullabies” from their 2002 album of the same name. After finishing their fourth song (Selfish Man), with a heavy heart, Dave King addressed the crowd of the Oakland Fox Theater.
“Well listen, before we came onstage tonight, we found out some horrible news, and that is the beautiful Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters has just passed away, he was a truly, truly lovely lovely man and we played with them many times, and he is absolutely a wonderful human being, and we would like to dedicate this song to his wife and his three children and the rest of the lovely Foo Fighters as well. We weren’t planning on doing this song, we haven’t even done this song on this tour, but we’d like to do it, in memory of Taylor and this is a little song we call “Whistles the Wind”. Flogging Molly ended their awesome performance with the track Tobacco Island from their album “Within a Mile of Home”
Doing some research, I found an early interview with Kerrang! magazine, where Dave king tells of how Flogging Molly got their name. From the very beginning of the band, a bar named Molly Molone’s supported them and allowed them to perform every Monday night. “We used to play there every Monday night and we felt like we were flogging it to death, so we called the band Flogging Molly.”