Day 2 of the Komos Festival brought back many of the first day’s attendees, seemingly amplified in number and enthusiasm.
The four Danes who own cowboy boots all returned, along with the platoon of white-haired, neckerchiefed couples observing the events from the sanctity of a champagne tent. Reinforcing their ranks came a fresh shipment of dads sporting ponytails, draped mostly in denim.
The discernible edge of Saturday’s attendees contrasted with the previous night’s gentler crowd: a softer group who came to sway to Kris Kristofferson’s somewhat laboured set. Whereas Friday saw an unadorned black stage that dwarfed the size and impact of its performers, Saturday brought new bravado.
The second day line-up had a markedly higher saturation of well-known and upbeat artists, such as Swedish soft tone specialist Lisa Ekdahl, watery English folk-popper Passenger, and Irish-American punk rockers Flogging Molly.
A crowd abuzz
By the time of my arrival at around 22:45, Komos retained greater crowds and higher energy than it seemingly had at any point on Friday. Lights and noise spilled over the fence of Kongens Have from this eclectic gathering of food trucks, music tents and string lights, and a static energy lingered in anticipation of Komos’s closing act. The main stage had evolved from Friday’s visual banalities, decked out for a proper send-off.
Orange, green and white spotlights threw columns of light across the crowd, and running the entire height of the stage was an enormous banner bearing the battle standard of headliners Flogging Molly.
The celtic punk heavyweights took the stage promptly at 23:00, eliciting vocal enthusiasm from an audience much larger and more raucous than previously. The median age of those in attendance still hovered at around 45, though their energy levels could easily have been attributed to a crowd half as old.
Flogging Molly minced few words before diving into their set – an hour-long parade covering most of their biggest hits. Though they released an album just this month, they made little mention of it, and played few (if any) songs – a wise choice given that their familiarity and enthusiasm stems from much earlier work. Such a move struck me as an appreciated courtesy, favouring audience experience over self-promotion.
Though a good portion of their work subsists of melancholy, bar-close songs commemorating dead relatives or the Old World, the band stuck to their substantial arsenal of high-tempo swashbucklers – a choice well-received by those in attendance. Those pressed against the front railing hollered, clapped and raised their fists in response to the band, and light moshing was intermittent throughout the evening.
Pausing between tracks to sip Guinness and express gratitude to the audience and band members alike, frontman Dave King led the group through an impressive set that seemed to reciprocate and amplify the crowd’s enthusiasm. King and company highlighted their impassioned performance with well-received antics, including giddy little dances, lobbing cans of beer into the crowd and kissing one another.
While the concert mentioned conspicuously little of their latest release, the performance stood testament to Flogging Molly’s past achievements, and their enduring ability to revive classic hits like ‘Drunken Lullabies’ and ‘What’s Left of the Flag’ with stirring and memorable energy. Their show redeemed Komos’s previous lethargy, ending the festival’s trial run with a sweaty, shouting, satisfactory finish.