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Flogging Molly preps for its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Hollywood Palladium

Really, every day is a St. Patrick’s Day celebration for Irish-American punk rock band Flogging Molly . Every time the band takes the stage the Guinness is flowing, whiskey is being shot, the music is loud and the crowd is dancing and rowdy.
To commemorate the actual holiday this year on Sunday, March 17, the band, which originally formed in Los Angeles more than two decades ago, will take over the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Blvd. in L.A. and kick off the festivities early with a KROQ 106.7/FM hosted parking lot pre-party with free Irish food, games, Irish-themed music and dancers and drink specials from noon until doors open at 6 p.m. Admission to the pre-party is free for those 21-and-older with online reservation . A  ticket to the actual concert is not required to attend.
“Oh jeez,” vocalist-guitarist Dave King said with a laugh at the thought of the Flogging Molly fans having an all-day party before heading into the show on St. Patrick’s Day. The band is also playing Casino Morongo in Cabazon on Saturday, March 16, which seems to be serving as a bit of a St. Patrick’s Day pre-game. Fans on social media have shared that they plan on going to both Southern California shows, possibly looking to completely destroy their livers and blow out their vocal cords before heading into work worse for wear on Monday morning.
Flogging Molly (from left: Matt Hensley, Mike Alonso, Dave King, Nathen Maxwell, Bridget Regan and Dennis Casey) will play Morongo Casino in Cabazon on Saturday, March 16 and host a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, March 17. (Photo by Richie Smyth)
Flogging Molly (vocalist-guitarist Dave King pictured) will play Morongo Casino in Cabazon on Saturday, March 16 and host a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, March 17. (Photo by Steve Rose)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds Flogging Molly will play Morongo Casino in Cabazon on Saturday, March 16 and host a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, March 17. (Photo by Steve Rose)
Flogging Molly (vocalist-guitarist Dave King pictured) will play Morongo Casino in Cabazon on Saturday, March 16 and host a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, March 17. (Photo by Richie Smyth)(Photo by Steve Rose)
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“It’s incredible,” he said of the band’s passionate fan base. King said he’s been feeling a big under the weather since the band was touring over in Europe earlier this year, but even with a cold that he just can’t seem to kick, it’s the energy from the audience that gets him through every night.
“Sometimes I’m tired and I’m like, ‘Jesus, am I going to be okay tonight?’,” he continued. “All of a sudden, I hit the stage and it’s like a wave of just excitement and the crowds are just unbelievable. I don’t know if we could do this if people weren’t as into it as much as they are because at the end of the day, that’s all you’re there for is for the shows. No matter what goes on the rest of the day, you’re there to put on the best show you can every night. The crowd is like the eighth member of the band and they definitely put on a performance as well, that’s for sure.”
King said he’s sure he’ll be in top form for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration as he’s been resting in between gigs and downing a hot toddy before each performance.
“It helps clean the pipes and make sure I’m well oiled and ready to go,” he added.
Twenty years ago, Flogging Molly was crammed onto a small stage, playing gigs on Monday nights at Molly Malone’s, an Irish pub off of Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. In 2000, the band released its debut album, “Swagger,” on SideOneDummy Records and the group soon found itself out touring the world and rapidly gaining fans while doing domestic outings like the Vans Warped Tour .
“That doesn’t seem like 20 years ago,” King said. “We started to do the Warped Tour and we did a tour with the Mighty Bosstones and it just kept going. It’s kind of scary how quickly time can go actually. Maybe it’s because we’ve been really busy, but looking back on our days at Molly Malone’s, really it seems like at most 10 years ago.”
Though Flogging Molly will be out of the country when the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour shows are going off in the U.S. over the summer, including two dates at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View July 20-21, King said that while Warped was always a bit challenging for the bands, it was one of the most rewarding experiences.
“It was an amazing platform for young bands, especially in the punk rock world, to get together and at least be heard,” he said. “What’s terrifying now that the Warped Tour is gone, where are these outlets going to come for these young bands? We try to do our best to take as many bands out as we can that nobody knows. We have a young lad playing with us on St. Patrick’s Day, Matt Heckler, and he just plays the fiddle and he’s unbelievable.”
To keep things fresh for the band, Flogging Molly has come up with quite a few ways to shake up its tours and hopped on more niche festival line-ups like the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival happening at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point April 6-7. A few years ago, the band had a fully functioning bar and a small pub-style set up on stage and invited fans a few at a time to come up as they played live to enjoy a fresh pour of Guinness. King said it was absolute chaos backstage trying to get it all set up, but he hopes it was a fun memory for the fans who got to enjoy a pint from the best seat in the house.
Flogging Molly also has its very own Salty Dog Cruise, which is currently in its 5th year and will set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to CocoCay, Bahamas on Nov. 8-12. The line-up so far includes sets by Flogging Molly, Pennywise, Frank Turner, Stiff Little Fingers, Face to Face , Mariachi El Bronx, Hepcat, Street Dogs and more. King said sometimes he’ll throw on a captain’s hat and walk around the ship, have a drink, meet and greet with fans and hop on stage during a random set.
“It’s something I didn’t know I would really enjoy doing,” he said, noting that he hadn’t been on a cruise before the band starting hosting its own. “I didn’t know what to expect but it has seriously been enjoyable and everybody seems to have a blast. It’s such an atmosphere on the boat and I don’t think there’s anything like it.”
Though Flogging Molly fans are typically heavy drinkers, they haven’t managed to drink the ship dry … yet.
“I’ll tell you, I went to the bar on the first day last year to grab a couple ciders and behind the bar there was just this wall of whiskey,” he said. “It was like something out of ‘Game of Thrones.’ It was incredible.”
The crew definitely knows who they’re catering to on that ship.
Flogging Molly
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16
Where: Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon
Tickets: $65 at 800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com
Also: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 17 at Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets are $49.50 at LiveNation.com . Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 at Doheny State Beach, 23500 Dana Point Drive, Dana Point. $49.60-$69.50 single-day general admission; $89.50 weekend general admission at sabrosotacofest.com .

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