CO-HEADLINERS SOCIAL DISTORTION AND FLOGGING MOLLY
LEAVE THEIR MARK ON STONE PONY SUMMER STAGE!!
BY MELISSA LAWLOR
SEPTEMBER 8, 2019
The first set on stage was Le Butcherettes, a Guadalajara-based garage punk band formed in 2007 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Teri Gender Bender (Teresa Suárez Cosío), whose performance and artistic persona has been compared to Björk and Siouxsie Sioux. But after seeing Le Butcherettes live and experiencing Gender Bender’s ferocious energy, I’m thinking more Juliette Lewis (à la Juliette and the Licks). Dressed in a red coat and heels while wearing a matching feather headband and war paint on her face, Gender Bender’s primal stage presence set an edgy tone of punk rock pureness. While releasing her dark and defiant anthems, she alternated between playing guitar and keyboard and captivating the crowd. The other band members are Marfred Rodríguez López on bass, Alejandra Robles Luna on drums, and Riko Rodríguez-López on guitar and synth. This was an excellent musical choice to heat up the crowd!
THE DEVIL MAKES THREE
Following Le Butcherettes was The Devil Makes Three, an American band of New Englanders that was formed in Santa Cruz, California. While their music is a blend of bluegrass, ragtime, country, folk and rockabilly, they also mix in a dash of punk. The group's members are guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino, and guitarist and tenor banjo player Cooper McBean. This drummer-less trio is a rare thing in the music world, but it works! Their vintage American eclectic blend of styles had many happy couples and groups of friends dancing in the crowd.
After The Devil Makes Three ended their set, the crowd was shifting into high gear for Celtic punk band, Flogging Molly. Their live shows are explosive and passionate, and when Dublin-born front man and founder Dave King hit the stage the fans went wild! Flogging Molly has gained a very loyal and energetic following over the years since the late 90s. Their rowdy folk-rock punk revival sound layers electric guitar and accordion while using traditional Irish music as a springboard, shifting it entirely into a different punk direction. King’s poetic lyrics are catchy, and very relatable to fans. Their toe-tapping songs center around the working-class pride, drinking in pubs, and camaraderie. When you are at a Flogging Molly show it feels very normal to just lock arms and grab the person next to you, even if you don’t know them. The band is comprised of seven very talented individuals: Dave King (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bodhran), his lovely wife Bridget Regan (violin, tin whistle, vocals), Dennis Casey (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals), Matt Hensley (accordion, concertina, vocals), Nathen Maxwell (bass guitar, vocals), Spencer Swain (banjo, mandolin), and Mike Alonso (drums, percussion).
At one point during the show, King announced to the crowd that they would be heading back home after this tour to write a new album. Everyone cheered wildly! As a sea of steady bodies made their way crowd surfing to the front during most of their set, some of the songs they did were “Drunken Lullabies”, “Devil’s Dance Floor”, “Crushed”, “What's Left of the Flag”, and "Seven Deadly Sins".
For their final song, King said to the crowd, “I don’t know when we will see you again New Jersey, but until we do, please take care of each other; we love you very much indeed.” And they went right into “If I Ever Leave This World Alive.” It was heartwarming to look around and see so many people embracing one another, swaying to the music and singing along. He then waved, “Goodnight brothers and sisters!” and walked off stage to "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" by Monty Python’s Eric Idle.
Social Distortion closed out the night with a fiery set of songs. Some of them were “So Far Away,” “Through These Eyes,” “Bad Luck,” “Dear Lover,” “Don’t Drag Me Down,” “1945,” “Reach for the Sky,” and “Story of My Life.” Front man Mike Ness is the creator behind the California’s Orange County punk band that has been going strong for forty years. He is the vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who was joined on stage by Johnny “2 Bags” Wickersham on guitar, Brent Harding on bass, and David Hidalgo Jr on drums. They were the perfect ending to an amazing evening of music!
(Editor’s Note: Photographers were not permitted to capture images during this set.)
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