The luck of the Irish was in the air Saturday night as the Pot of Gold Music Festival wound down. Here's what we thought about some of the music we saw that night.
Less Than Jake
Self-deprecation was the mark of Less Than Jake, who laughed about how we had to suffer through their music for such a long time and how vocalist Chris DeMakes's mother only likes one of their songs. As expected, there were several remarks about the heat and the encouragement to stay hydrated, but the true highlight was when the band called upon single men and women to come on stage. They picked two to act out bumping into each other in a club and start making out. "That's when you go crazy!" the band shouted. After the song, DeMakes reported: "Jeff's breath smells like Goodwill! ... Sorry, she said whipped cream."
Fitz and the Tantrums
"I was just doing what I do best," said Noelle Scaggs about her broken foot, encased in a boot. "Bouncing around." But her trampoline accident didn't stop her from grooving and shaking her Afro in her seat while co-lead Michael Fitzpatrick showcased his white-man moves back and forth across the stage. The backing band got plenty of solo time and looks of adoration from the vocalists, and the audience got to hear the omnipresent "Handclap" live. Toward the end of the set, the band dedicated "MoneyGrabber" to the longtime fans who have followed their journey from 2010 SXSW to their current critical acclaim.
Equal parts a set and a comedy show for crude humor, NOFX gave extensive commentary between each anger-filled punk song. Fitz and the Tantrums were quickly named Tits and the Tantrums with the side note of "Fuck those guys." In the same vein, frontman Fat Mike lamented how the "Idiots Are Taking Over" again, just like when they first wrote the song in 2003. And the festival-goers who brought their kids were scolded for bad parenting right before Fat Mike went full-on Urban Dictionary and explained the sexual definitions of innocent terms. They howled at their own jokes the whole time, but they were some of the very few who were laughing. Yikes.
Death Cab for Cutie
There is a certain infectious buzz that energizes a crowd when they recognize a song, and it keeps the excitement level high even when the music is mellow. And with 20 years' worth of material, the buzz remained constant during Death Cab's set. The band came out rocking, bringing an intensity to songs like "I Will Possess Your Heart" and current alt-radio single "The Ghosts of Beverly Drive" that just don't come across on the recordings, and even ballad "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" kept people's attention as thousands of voices joined in from below the stage. No matter the tempo, frontman Ben Gibbard could not stay still, flitting between the piano and center stage with a guitar to be perpetually multitasking with vocals and an instrument. Maybe it's his creativity, maybe it's his anger at the political climate, but the man was antsy and on the move the whole time. Heard from a passerby: "This crowd sounds like one girl with 1,000 heads."
Lucky Man Concerts owner Tom LaPenna didn't need to introduce Celtic rockstars Flogging Molly, but his reminder that the band has played on St. Patrick's Day right here in the Valley nearly every year for more than a decade was the cue for everyone to raise their pints and cheer. Once all seven members had filed on stage, Dave King threw back his head for two long yells and welcomed the crowd to their show. And so began the shenanigans. Anthems like "Devil's Dance Floor," "Salty Dog," and "Requiem for a Dying Song" dominated the set that could have made a September day feel like it was St. Paddy's, but new singles like last year's "The Hand of John L. Sullivan" and slower tracks found their due places as well. Those who had room to bust a jig