DS Gallery: Flogging Molly, Anti Flag, Skinny Lister at The Ryman in Nashville, TN 2.8.23

We’ve got a special one for you today as Flogging Molly, Anti Flag and Skinny Lister had the rafters and church pews shaking at the legendary Ryman Auditorium for what was easily my favorite show ever to shoot.

I don’t know what’s spurred the sudden change, but as of recently The Ryman, Nashville’s famed music venue known as “the mother church of country music”, has began booking acts that cater more towards fans of rock’n’roll, and even ones that would tempt us punk fans to pay the landmark a visit. Although there have been non-country acts to grace the stage in the past (most notably Foo Fighters in 2014 and the Wu Tang Clan in 2019), punk and metal performances at the former church are becoming more and more common. Last year saw performances from Anthrax, Dropkick Murphys and Mastodon, among many others (I was also ecstatic to see the recent announcement that The Gaslight Anthem in May would be my next trip to the Ryman). This show made for the perfect opportunity to check off a photography bucket list item of mine, while simultaneously snagging some great shots of two bands I had yet to see live and another that’s grown to become one of my favorites.

My first encounter with Skinny Lister was a great one. They displayed a perfect fusion of Irish folk and punk that did well in warming up the restlessly awaiting crowd. Their energy and charisma were very impressive, and although I had listened to them in the past, having them as an opener did put me in a Skinny Lister listening mood for about a week after.

Additionally, Scott Milsom’s handling of the standup bass could be considered an art form in and of itself.

Anti Flag performed what I consider to be the best (if not the only) medley of classic punk tunes the Ryman has ever hosted. Labeled on the setlist as “Punk Shit Medley”, it was not shitty in the least as brief snippets were strung together of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash, “God Save the Queen” by Sex Pistols and “Fall Back Down” by Rancid, among several others.

These guys have grown to become a live favorite of mine. After being reunited down at Fest for a shortened 30-minute set, I was left with a hunger for more, a craving that was thankfully fulfilled just a few short months later with a killer full-length performance at one of the most unique venues they’ve played.

Flogging Molly was the act that I had been dying to see. It’s always seemed that you either prefer Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, one or the other. I’ve always had a distinct love for both, but tended towards DKM only because of the ample opportunities I’ve had to catch them live. Well it seems the playing field has been leveled now that both Irish punk heavyweights have performed at the former home of the Grand Ol Opry. I’m glad to have finally had the chance to witness their mastery at work in a venue that, on the surface may have seemed unfitting, but deep down was more fitting then ever.

Their badass brand of punk mixed with a more traditional Irish side was complimented by the historic atmosphere that has housed seemingly all of country’s biggest stars.

It would be the understatement of my photography career to merely say that this was a fun one. I had the time of my life shooting this show, although I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was about to shit myself before the show in nervous anticipation. Luckily everything went according to plan, so feel free to keep scrolling for the complete gallery. As always, your support for the site is greatly appreciated. Cheers!

Skinny Lister

Anti Flag

Flogging Molly

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