REVIEW BY SHAUNA SULLIVAN and PHOTOS BY KRIS COMER | Go Venue Magazine
When you have 30 minutes to capture an audience, there is no better place than the Fox Theater in Oakland, California on Friday, March 25, 2022. The Vandoliers brought every ounce of energy to every second of their thirty minutes. Part country, punk rock and full-on fun, this band is going places, and they are not afraid to tell you that either. They have fiddles and guitars and one awesome stage presence. Keep an eye out for this ruckus, extremely talented upcoming band.
If a concert can feel like a house party, then Russkaja are the royalty of the performance. This Russian themed polka fueled rock band will make you dance, sing, and stomp before you can even catch your breath. The lead singer Georgij Alexandrowitsch Makazaria brought the crowd to a frenzy from the beginning by demanding that a dance space was created in the middle of the Fox Theater. He orchestrated a massive dance pit while still demanding that it would be a safe space. The crowd loved it and danced and sang right along with the band.
The speed and excitement of their performance built upon itself. The musical talent of every band member shined as they took the audience on a journey of musical release. Their performance was joy and fun and a full-on rock out. They proudly stood by their musical roots while supporting the Ukraine people by flying the Ukraine flag throughout their performance. If you want to see a band that is purely fun and demonstrates musical excellence, then Russkaja is for you.
The way that Flogging Molly cultivates a show is always impressive. They are a band that continuously proves they are powerhouse performers. Steady as always sounds like a boring statement, but a Flogging Molly show is steady. Think of a ship in the middle of a storm, that is the steady I’m referring to. They curate the show to build up to musical explosions over and over again. The musical talent that is Flogging Molly is so immense that the Fox Theater could barely contain the energy of the performance.
The lead singer Dave King brings a mastery of the room. His stage presence and magnetism unites the room into a singular force that feels like we are all one. When you get the chance to see Flogging Molly in concert, you will fully understand what a fantastic performance feels like. They are steady in the musical storm, guiding the audience through the riffs and joy of an excellent concert.
Flogging Molly’s new song “These times have got me drinking/tripping up the stairs” feels like my own song of this pandemic. It is a song that tells us they remember what we have, but that at the top of the stairs we will find a new space, a new future. It’s another great drinking song, but as always there is a deeper meaning and musical mastery that is so iconic of Flogging Molly. I will always love a good drinking song, but what Flogging Molly creates in their music transcends the everyday and pushes the emotional limits. That steady storm of Flogging Molly will never cease to bring the house down on a Friday night in Oakland.
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