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Bouncing Souls,
Flogging Molly, One Man Army,
and Madcap
November 16, 2001
At Fitzgerald's
Houston, TX

by Samuel Barker
November 25, 2001

Brian with a fan What better to do on a brisk November evening than to go see a nice intimate show with some of the best bands running around the indie scene today? The answer is simple, nothing.

The night began with Madcap. These guys were WAY better live than on album. The odd thing about their set was that it mostly consisted of new songs not on their debut, Stand Your Ground. I enjoyed the new songs a lot more than the older ones and have to say I will be looking forward to the new record. This aside, the band had a great deal of energy and played to a surprisingly packed house considering they were the opener. This led to a nice vibe throughout the night, people were all in their together to watch some great rock music.

After Madcap came One Man Army. These guys were a surprising bunch. I had never heard them before or really had any idea of who they were, but I was greatly intrigued by their set. They were a 3-piece punk band that came at you right out the gate. All the kids seemed to enjoy their set and the band did a great job of playing to them. One thing about the bands that played on this night, they werenít lazy and rarely stood around.

After a short break, it was time for Flogging Molly to take the stage. The stage looked like a pub lined with cans of Guinness and close to everyone who could drink (physically, not legally) had a beer in hand. The band even helped out those who didnít have a beer by passing them to a few lucky folks.

Flogging Molly came out and went into "The Likes Of Your Again," which got everyone dancing and slinging beer in all directions...it was a wonderful sight.

These guys are a band that really uses their time well. There wasn't much standing around, they came to play and they did just that. They played all the great songs from Swagger as well as some of the songs from their upcoming release. "Worst Day Since Yesterday" was the highlight for me personally. You could read the crowd's favorite song too well, because they sang along on every song and danced with the same conviction. The band closed with the opening track of Swagger, "Salty Dog." It was a great close, but left everyone a little sad that the set was over.

Finally, the Bouncing Souls took the stage. After the Flogging Molly set, I was almost certain they couldn't pull off a more powerful set, but I was dead wrong. They came out ready to play and got everyone back into the show with no problem. The whole band came to play. All the kids who caught their short set on the Warped Tour were excited to see the full set on this night.

I will never understand why the Bouncing Souls haven't become some of the best known people in the punk scene. Their music has a great poppy feel without being like the watered down "pop-punk" we're subjected to today. The intellegent sound with some heartfelt lyrics makes for a sound that is lacking from the scene today from most bands. From the older tracks like "Argyle" and "Ballad Of Johnny X" to the new songs "True Believers" and "Private Radio" all in attendance sang along and danced like crazy. A steady flood of punkers rode the crowd up to the stage to sing along and have a great night.

After a wonderful night of pure punk tunes and irish folk rock, I was a little depressed to go home, but I was thankful to be able to experience a show as great as this one. Make it out to some of these shows and be amazed.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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