I saw Flogging Molly’s Green 17 stop at the House of Blues, Cleveland on March 5th. I love Flogging Molly live. They put on a fantastic show.
The opener was a band called the Architects (this is apparently a popular band name. I just did a search and found that there is an American The Architects, a British The Architects, and a band called Architect. Who knew?). They were very tight, very energetic. They knew how to work the crowd. They made me laugh when the lead singer introduced an AC/DC cover by saying ‘if you’re old enough you know how cool this song is; if you’re young, we wrote this’.
Frank Turner played next. I’d never heard of him before, but I knew one of his songs. My husband was really surprised when I started singing Photosynthesis. I was pretty surprised too. Frank Turner was really, really funny. His guitarist was really, really unintentionally funny. The guitarist danced around like crazy and during the second song, he totally wiped out. His dancing was so bad and erratic that I wondered how much liquor he’d consumed prior to taking the stage. I really enjoyed his set. I’m going to have to pick up his album.
The crowd was very rowdy. I kind of like a little dancing and enthusiasm from the crowd. Nothing stinks more than a stone faced audience. But the crowd got a little, no, not a little, the crowd got a lot rough as soon as Flogging Molly started playing.
As soon as they started playing the first few notes, guys in the audience started punching and pushing. I almost got caught in the current of little penis-ed boys’ anger. My husband had to almost pluck me out by my shoulder. I felt myself getting pushed away and my honey grabbed my shoulder and pulled me close to him (he’s a giant and I was so happy to have him protecting me). There was a large group of guys standing in front of the stairs literally flinging each other into the back of the crowd.
They were getting ready to fling a guy right into us and I just yelled at them to knock it off. They listened, thankfully. I must be scary. They were all way bigger than me. There’s just no way I could handle having these big, sweaty, unhygienic knuckle-draggers smashing into me. It was way over the top. Flogging Molly is an Irish folk band. I don’t expect to get punched while I’m in the audience watching an Irish folk band. If I wanted to have big, gross guys jumping on me, I’d go see Clutch at some dive club.
The audience was so out of control that during an acoustic segment, that someone got seriously hurt. Really, they played 3 or 4 acoustic songs, one of the band members even pulled out a stool to sit on while they played, and at the end of Float, the band stopped and asked everyone to back away from the injured person.
The House of Blues staff was worthless. The singer had to ask people to make room, ask someone to call for and ambulance, and ask if there were any trained EMT personnel. Why does this task fall to the band? If that wasn’t bad enough, after a few minutes, the singer had to ask for towels and water for the injured person. And then, the band had to grab their own bottled water and towels and hand them off the stage to whoever was attending to the injured person.
How f-d up is the audience that someone gets ‘ambulance-requiring-hurt’ during Float? How f-ed up is the House of Blues that the band had to take charge of the situation? How f-ed up is it that House of Blues didn’t control the crowd better? Even after band left stage, stage hands had to scold the audience for not letting ambulance staff get to the injured person.
I am a bit embarrassed. Who moshes during acoustic songs? The incident really makes Cleveland concert-goers look like we don’t know how to behave. And it’s one thing to be a little rowdy and quite another to be so rowdy that someone has to be carried out on a stretcher. Again, this was an Irish folk band, not Disturbed.
And because people don’t know how to act, I’ll kindly pass on some concert etiquette:
- Be kind to other attendees
- Wash, seriously, you’re going to be piled on top of other people, no one wants to smell your BO
- Don’t fart in a crowd, no one needs to smell you
- Be aware of littler people around you and take care not to injure them
- If you’re going to squeeze through crowd, don’t be the size of 3 people
- Don’t punch unless you’re ready to get punched back
- Actually, just don’t punch, it’s unnecessary. if you have that much pent up aggression, stop spending your money on concert tickets and spend it on counseling instead
- Remember, every one just wants to have a good time, and your right to have a good time stops when it effects someone else’s good time
I really don’t know if I’ll go see anyone else at House of Blues. I don’t feel safe there now. If they can’t control a Flogging Molly crowd, how can I feel safe about their ability to control any other crowd? Unfortunately for me, the option for a lot of concerts is to see the band at House of Blues or not to see them. And really, I’d rather miss seeing a band than to put myself in an unsafe situation.