Oh what a trip, what a decade, what a bunch of madness that I would never trade for anything else in this crazy, crazy world.
I first saw Flogging Molly with an old flame back in 2000 at Trax in Charlottesville, VA (now closed) when they opened for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. When Dave first strummed the guitar on the first song which turned out to be "The Likes Of You Again" I was wondering what kind of hippy Irish band Dickie Barrett had signed on for the tour. I was relatively new to the whole ska/punk scene but knew who the Bosstones were. Once the music hit, it was love at second verse.
It's been a whirlwind trip ever since and I have seen them play in Houston, Seattle, Portland, DC, Norfolk, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Atlanta to name a few places. I try to get out to see them on every tour and sometimes catch multiple dates if the cities are close enough or if there's enough money in my bank account. I've had the honor of drinking pints with all of them, sharing stories and perspectives over many a pint and been introduced to other awesome bands like Frank Turner, The Slackers and The Aggrolites that came on tour with them. I even managed to get the nickname "Squid Kid" from Nate, it was the time I took them to the music store for new guitar strings in Virginia when I had a grocery bag full of bait on the floor of my beat up old station wagon.
Relationships have come and gone, the years have passed and so have my states of residence and responsibility but I still get out there and go to shows. I've laughed at Dave's stage antics, the times Nathen did the drunken monkey and chewed on Matt Hensley's shoulder and I've bawled out my eyes at "If I Ever Leave This World Alive", especially after my dear friend Jim passed away.
I really, truly would not trade the experiences for anything. I wouldn't trade the dear friends like Alexis or Jonny or Chaz that I have met through mutual love of the music for all the riches in the world. It has been a wonderful, wonderful trip and I cannot wait for the next adventure.