Tour Buzz: Flogging Molly, Muse and Band of Horses

UNDER TWO FLAGS: Get your ass rocked global-style when Flogging Molly is joined by Mariachi El Bronx for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day dustup at the Cosmopolitan, March 16 ($35). You couldn’t ask for a better match of party-band sensibilities: Flogging Molly plays searing Celtic punk, while Mariachi El Bronx performs rip-roaring English-language canciónes. I saw the latter band at Book & Stage last year and was impressed with their ability to hold a bilingual crowd in sway; I can only imagine how well they’ll do with the much larger, much drunker crowds that fill out the Cosmo’s poolside shows. As for Flogging Molly … really, all they have to do is play the Pogues-like “Salty Dog” for me to go home happy. You know those nights where the pool deck of the Cosmopolitan feels like it’s moving under your feet? This night will be one of those.

LAST IN SPACE: A little bit progressive rock, a little bit New Wave and all energy and verve, Muse is one of few bands working today that makes a sound big enough to fill a room the size of the Mandalay Bay Events Center, as the English band will doubtlessly do on March 17 ($45-$75). That’s not to say that Muse is merely loud (and really, even Barenaked Ladies can turn its shit up to eleven), but their songs are just … big. From “Supermassive Black Hole” to “Butterflies and Hurricanes,” Muse has always behaved like a happy little Death Star, going wherever the hell it pleases and feeding its audience a banquet of pure shock and awe. Hello, they even asked Storm Thorgerson to do some of their album covers—the English artist who provided mind-bending cover art for Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater and virtually every other Pink Floyd release. We’re not saying that Muse could go the Pink Floyd route, with the giant floating pigs and whatnot … but if they did, would that really be such a bad thing?

NOW ON SALE: There are bands that are simply meant to play under the stars, and Band of Horses, playing poolside at the Cosmopolitan on April 20 ($25), is definitely one of them. Feeling the vibrations of “The General Specific” and “Factory” in the warm spring air will be a life-affirming experience—and “Is There a Ghost” makes a case for the existence of heaven.