After writing Flogging Molly's last album -- 2011's "Speed of Darkness" -- about Detroit's economic travails, frontman Dave King is as happy as anyone to feel some degree of changing fortunes in the metro area.
"You're beginning to feel the energy coming back to the city," says King, 50, an Dublin, Ireland native who, with his Detroit-born wife Bridget Regan, spends part of the year living in Ferndale. Even just walking the dog around the neighborhood, a lot of the houses that were foreclosed, there's people in them now. Things seem to be picking up.
"Maybe I'm being too optimistic here, but there's that fighting spirit. That's what I've always connected with the Irish and people that live in Detroit. That's why I like here. It has that same energy...as when I was growing up in Ireland."
Nevertheless, King isn't worried that a Detroit turnaround will make "Speed of Darkness" sound dated. "I think everyone around the world is facing the same issues in some way,," he explains. But he's also happy that Flogging Molly's fifth album is holding up as a piece of music that's getting a better response the longer the group keeps playing the songs.
"I don't know what it is about this album, or us as musicians, but for some reason by the end of this tour we'll have played every song off the album, which is something we've never done before," King says. "It still has that energy for us, musically, that we really love, and the reaction to the songs has been incredible.
"Lyrically it's about Detroit, but musically it's been a very adventurous album for us. It's great to get a chance to play all the songs live."
Flogging Molly opens its annual Green 17 tour on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. The Devil Makes Three and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears will also perform. Tickets are $35 and $25. Call 313-861-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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