Jim Weise

Guinness, politics and punk were celebrated when Flogging Molly performed Saturday night in the Rec Center.

The mixed crowd of Cal Poly students, punked-out high schoolers and irritated parents rocked all night to three bands.

Go Betty Go, a four-piece all female punk band from Los Angeles, opened the show and riled up the crowd from the start.

“This was a great show,” Nicolette Vilar, the lead singer of Go Betty Go, said after the concert. “By the second song there were already three mosh pits.”

The band had the feel of The Misfits with quick metal riffs placed in old school punk songs.

Vilar’s voice was powerful and the band played fast and tight. For “The Pirate Song,” Matt Hensley and Robert Schmidt from Flogging Molly joined Go Betty Go to play accordion and banjo.

Next, The Voodoo Glow Skulls, a ska/punk band, took the stage. Lead singer Frank Casillas appeared wearing a menacing black and white leather mask, while the brass section blared.

Then at 10 p.m. a huge Flogging Molly banner unfurled as the band took the stage and opened with “Screaming at the Wailing Wall.”

“Jesus Christ, what do you do? Play basketball in here?” Dave King, the lead singer of Flogging Molly asked the crowd. “Well, not tonight you don’t.”

King was energetic, running around the stage and pumping up the audience, while band member Bridget Regan made her fiddle scream.

Schmidt traded off between the banjo and mandolin all night. Never has an accordion sounded cooler than in the hands of Hensley. To put it simply, the band played hard the whole night.

King got a little political twice on Saturday, dedicating “Drunken Lullaby” to the IRA cease fire and speaking his mind about President George W. Bush.

“We shouldn’t dance for him; we should be dancing on him,” King told the audience, before the band broke into “Selfish Man.”

The middle of the show included an interlude in which Dennis Casey played his guitar with a violin bow, Aÿ la Jimmy Page, and King led a soccer chant in which the entire audience sang “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole.”

Late in the show, “Devils Dance floors” fueled the mosh pit, which had expanded to almost half the floor.

The band came back out for an encore of “Within a Mile of Home” and “What’s Left of the Flag.”

When the house lights turned on, the majority of the crowd looked worn out and sweaty from the fevered pace of the concert.

“That was an unbelievable show,” horticulture senior Patrick Grady said. “I want to drink with those guys.”

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