Dave King began as a singer for a heavy metal band called Fastway, then moved to fronting a milder hard rock band called Katmandu. Then he got the idea to incorporate traditional Irish instruments into his music.
The concept – Metallica with touches of the Dubliners – was a hard sell in 1993. There was, however, one saloon willing to give every Monday evening to King’s band – Los Angeles’ Molly Malone’s.
It was only appropriate that King name his band after the place that gave it a home. Flogging Molly was born, King said, because the group had played there so often and so long they felt they were “flogging it to death.”
Flogging Molly plays the MontBleu on Friday night. The band's live shows are rousing and their music touches on all the expected themes of the heritage they tribute.
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The Irish have always been subjected to a certain stereotype – hard-drinking, ready brawling, fervently praying and then copious crying. “What’s Left of the Flag,” “Drunken Lullabies,” “Rebels of the Sacred Heart” and “Life on a Tenement Square” capture pretty well what the band is all about.
They are also, of course, all about a good time and when it comes time to be roused in a concert Celtic punk can do the trick. (8 p.m.; $40; Ticketmaster)
Rock stays on the menu at MontBleu on Saturday when Walter Trout will bring his band to the showroom. Trout is a veteran of Canned Heat, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and various outings with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Percy Mayfield and Joe Tex. He may also be a great spokesman for Scandinavia, where he developed his first big following after forming his own band.
Trout may not be as celebrated a guitarist as an Eric Clapton or a Jimi Hendrix, but he is every bit as good. He is often a go-to guy for guest spots on albums by other blues artists. He is also, famously, a survivor of cirrhosis of the liver, having received a transplant, singing about the process in his album “Battle Scars,” and becoming a patron of the British Liver Trust. (8 p.m.; $25-$30; Ticketmaster)
There’s a major name on the marquee tonight at the Silver Legacy in Reno with one of the genre’s biggest representatives, Buddy Guy, the embodiment of Chicago blues. (8 p.m.; $50-$60; silverlegacy.com) Also at the Silver Legacy, one of Reno’s most noted eateries is changing identity soon.
Sterling’s Seafood Steakhouse has been one of the casinos industry’s most reliable such operations (along with Harrah’s Reno Steak House and Harvey’s Sage Room) for decades. It will be turned into a Ruth’s Chris. Sterling’s has also become known for its Sunday brunches, now in limbo, but to be revived this Easter (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $49.99).
Friday night, Reno’s Grand Sierra brings in a current chartbuster with Los Temerarios, the Angel brothers’ band known for its mix of styles and even more for its romanticism. They frequently top the Latin music charts. (9 p.m.; $39-$125; grandsierraresort.com)