My buddies and I were looking at the weather radar while we were sitting at the bar before the show. There were rumors of a massive storm but as we studied that radar we figured it would miss the Twin Cities and move north. I mean, that’s what all of the weather people were saying and they’re always right…. right? The outdoor show we were about to go to would be fine! If it rained, it would just rain a wee bit. Nothing major. Who wouldn’t trust the meteorologists? 20% of the time, they’re right every time.
We got to the show a bit late but just in time for the love of my life, Frank Turner. Frank Turner is this amazing singer/ songwriter from the U.K. He has the voice of an angel with lyrics that always hit me right in the feels. He’s adorable and comes off as super down to earth for being as big of a deal as he is. His live show and the amount of energy he has is always impressive. Last night was no different.
His set seemed short although it was standard for an opening act. Frank pushed through as many songs as he could in the time he was given. He did his signature move of jumping into the crowd and crowd surfing while still singing. Every single second of his all too short set was filled with energy. The crowd was eating it up. Sure, it wasn’t a metal crowd that really knew how to mosh, but they were dancing and screaming and having an all around amazing time.
The set was perfection but towards the end of it the whole crowd started to notice the ominous looking sky that was heading our way. We tried to ignore the lightning that was off in the distance and getting closer. People migrated towards the outdoor bars to stock up on drinks before it was time for Flogging Molly. Mike, Andrew and I stood there, chatting, drinking, and having a great time like you’re supposed to at a show like this but then we felt the wind. It instantly got freezing out (well, as freezing as it can get in the middle of August). That’s when we knew that we were about to get stuck in one of the worst possible situations but instead of running for cover, we stood there, laughing, drinking, and smiling.
Finally, the sky was too dark to ignore and we started to feel a few sprinkles. Mike had me convinced that it would be “just the tip”. He kept saying that we were just going to get a few sprinkles and that would be it so we stood our ground along with hundreds of other people. A couple more raindrops started falling. We stood there as they set up the stage for Flogging Molly. A few sprinkles never killed anyone… right?
As soon as they started sound checking the microphones the weather took a turn for the worse. It started raining… no, not raining, downpouring… no, not downpouring, torrential downpouring. I mean, within minutes the parking lot that we were all standing in had turned into a damn swimming pool. It was too late to save ourselves. The damage had been done. The three of us stood there in the rain surrounded by hundreds of other who were holding out hope that this would just pass…. It was just going to pass right?
The rain wasn’t letting up. People started looking for cover but, as I said, it was too late. What was the point? We were all soaked and shivering but we were still holding onto the hope that either the rain would stop or the show would go on. After almost an hour, nothing changed and Mike, Andrew and I gave up on waiting in front of the stage. We figured we had to dry off because there was no way in hell an Uber driver was going to let us into their car this soaking wet and my brother refused to come get us for obvious reasons.
We tried to go inside of The Cabooze but were quickly shown the door as they were trying to keep the soaking wet people from bringing trekking the water inside. At first I was pissed, but it was what it was and honestly, we were dripping water… I got it. We found a spot in the back patio with a small awning where people were huddling to try to keep dry and warm. We weren’t giving up, just taking a break from the relentless rain. We stood around for another damn near hour so we could dry off.
I knew deep down that Flogging Molly wasn’t going to play. It was now too late for them to play outside due to the sound permits that The Cabooze has to get to make these outdoor shows happen and, somehow, it still had not stopped raining. Even though I knew it was done, no one had told us that the show had been cancelled so I was still hanging onto the small strand of hope.
Finally, after standing in the pouring rain for hours, a staff member walked by and told us that the show had been officially called off and we could all go home now. Sure, I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to see Flogging Molly but it had already been such a fun night with Frank Turner and just being surrounded by friends and getting caught in the rain.
We were still a bit too wet to get in an Uber but they were finally letting people inside of The Cabooze since there were only about two hundred of us left (if that!). We got inside, got another round of drinks and then looked up to the stage. There was a sole microphone being set up. Then a snare drum was brought out. Then another microphone was set up. What in the world was going on?
Word spread like wildfire through the small, soaked crowd. Flogging Molly was rumoured to be playing an acoustic set for us. No way. That was not going to happen. Flogging Molly is huge. Shows get cancelled all the time. They wouldn’t just do an impromptu acoustic set like this. There is no (excuse my language) fucking way. Absolutely no fucking way!
That’s when the members of Flogging Molly walked out onto the small stage with their instruments in one hand and a Guinness in the other. I couldn’t believe it. This type of a “pop up show” only happens in the movies. Big bands like Flogging Molly don’t actually do this. Someone pinch me… the rain had obviously made me delirious. Pinch me!
The music started and the crowd went nuts. I can’t tell you what songs they played (although I remember screaming along to Drunken Lullabies and judging by the sound of my voice today, I screamed along to many more) but I can tell you that them playing that acoustic set for those of us that didn’t have the common sense to get out of the rain and go home meant everything to everyone in that venue. Everyone in the crowd was soaked, most of us were drunk, some of us were starting to regret waiting in the rain for some long but absolutely everyone had a smile on their face.
In the midst of all of this, Mike had disappeared. I texted him to try and find him but he only responded with “What do you think of those lights?”. I was so confused until he followed up with a picture of the sound/ light board. The musicians had been complaining earlier about the lights but, because it was so impromptu, there was no real light/sound guy on staff so the venue was just kind of winging it. Mike somehow weaseled his way upstairs to help the guy out and take control of the lights. Did he know what he was doing? No. Did it looking freak sweet from the crowd? Yes. Is that a night he is going to remember for the rest of his life? Duh! Who can say they worked lights for an impromptu, acoustic Flogging Molly show– Mike can.
Flogging Molly played for a good chunk of time and then were followed up a small jam session featuring four of their members. By the time it was all said and done, we had finally dried off enough to feel comfortable with getting in an Uber.
Last night definitely didn’t go as planned. I’m pretty sure this is how people get pneumonia. My wallet and everything that was in it is destroyed and I’m starting to think that Andrew’s phone is toast after being in the rain for so long.
I saw Flogging Molly do an impromptu acoustic set with no more than 200 people surrounding me. It was surreal. It’s the stuff you see in movies but never think you’ll get to be a part of.
Last night was the best night I’ve had in a very long time.
Sausage Fest Meter- 13 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 30
Crowd Surfers- 3
How Many People Can Fit In A Porta-Potty To Stay Dry- 6
Stage Divers-1- Frank Turner
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None Noticed
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 9.8 out of 10
Show on Deck- The Fall of Troy