Who knows what weirdness lurks in the shadows of Anaheim on a Wednesday night? The World Famous Doll Hut knows, at least on the first Wednesday of every month! For, that is when Grimm Beatz (aka Leigh Mass [Louis Fuentes]) and Anathema (Steven Rivera) present their deathrock club, R.I.P., and on some occasions, such as last night, perform live with one of their bands. In this case, the duo (along with their bandmates) performed as Teenage Goo Goo Muck, their Cramps tribute band, and the show was a blast!
Roughly two dozen black clad patrons filled the diminutive club and swarmed the stage at 11:00 PM, when Grimm (vocals), Anathema (guitar), Kira Lee (bass) and Delaney Graves (drums) began playing. Although the reverb levels on the guitar and mic threatened to overshadow any of the music that the band played, it didn’t matter that much because Teenage Goo Goo Muck is principally all about spectacle. Grimm’s affinities for dressing in drag, changing outfits, and stripping during the course of the show were as eye-popping as his tendencies to contort his body, hang from the rafters, and wander off stage and embrace audience members while performing.
The level of showmanship on display defied the space of the microcosmic stage, making the performers seem particularly larger-than-life for the one hour that the concert lasted. As far as the music goes, the band performed a decent selection of Cramps tunes, including “The Way I Walk,” “Sheena’s in a Goth Gang,” “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” “Garbageman,” and “Goo Goo Muck.” Grimm went all out with his growling and howling, and when he didn’t have the microphone stuffed into his mouth, as the late Cramps singer Lux Interior (Erick Purkhiser) used to do, he did a solid job of summoning the spirit of his inspiration.
I’m not sure the degree to which it was the acoustics of Doll Hut or the aforementioned reverb levels, but it was somewhat difficult to discern much nuance in the guitar performance, with the exception of the gentlest tune of the night, a Cramps-styled cover of “Fever,” by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell (popularized by Peggy Lee). This was Anathema’s shining moment. The show concluded with the evening’s only non-Cramps song, a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges.
Whether it’s running the R.I.P. club or performing with one of their bands (Grimm and Anathema have also performed at their club with their deathrock band Shrouds), the duo clearly own the first Wednesday nights of the month, at Doll Hut. Their music and theatrics fit in very nicely with the gothic decor, colorful lighting, and dense smoke (from a smoke machine), and their dates at the venue present a reliable source for solid, dark-themed entertainment for any souls who seek a place to be with fellow misfits.