Nov. 20, 2010
The Grove of Anaheim
Whether you're on team Misfits or team Danzig, you've got to admire Glenn Danzig's energy and presence after all these decades. Though his jet black, shoulder-length hair is thinner and there's an undeniable bald spot on the back of his head, the burly vocalist in all black attire still presents a sinister presence while crossing the stage and burning a hole in the audience with his smoldering glare.
Dressed in trademark black jeans and sleeveless black shirt, Danzig and company ripped through an hour's worth of old classics as well as new material. During such numbers as "Tired of Being Alive" off 1998's Danzig II: Lucifuge, the burly vocalist strutted back and forth across the stage and sang into his mic which he held upside down. (I'm not sure of the practicality of using a microphone this way but it looked bad ass.) Meanwhile, guitarist Tommy Victor busted out the face melters.
The band slowed it down at times, most notably when they played the song "Thirteen," which Danzig originally wrote for Johnny Cash. As the guitar chugged along, Danzig sang in a deep croon about a man with the number thirteen tattooed on his neck.
At the end of the set, the band kicked in with their best known song "Mother," off the 1988 self-titled album. Both the audience and musicians went nuts. A furious pit broke out as the members on stage criss-crossed back and forth engaging with the crowd. It was refreshing to see a band enthusiastic about one of their commercial songs as opposed to unenthusiastically throwing the audience a bone.
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If there was one criticism of the night, it would be that years of vocal shredding haven't been kind to Glenn Danzig's voice, which at times sounded hoarse. There were also some added fireworks when three men broke from the confines of the mosh pit and two of the men began pummeling the third with their fists. During the fracas, my date suggested we do something to help the man--so I bravely told her we should keep an eye on the situation and see what develops.
Overheard: "Is that the loudest you can get motherfuckers? I thought we were in Southern California," Danzig said to the crowd.
Personal Bias: I'm definitely on team Misfits, but this show didn't disappoint.
The crowd: Surprisingly young. Many people in their mid-twenties. Thouroughly metal. Iron Maiden shirts, skull tattoos, face piercings and a few mohawks. Devil horns were hoisted liberally.