Concert review by JD Alvarez
In 1983 I went to my first punk show, it was a little band called X at Cal State Fullerton. A few years later, I caught Social Distortion and The Ramones at the Hollywood Palladium. Ever since then, I have been hooked on punk.
In addition to these bands, there were two other bands in this pantheon-of-punk that were there in the dawn of this genre. They are The Dickies and The Misfits. Both these bands would play the iconic House of Blues in Anaheim and Hollywood over the next few days.
The Dickies found fame with songs like Banana Splits, Amoeba, Gigantor and If Stuart Could Talk. The Misfits on the other hand, found fame not only in their music, but also in their look. Founded in Lodi, New Jersey, the band was lead by singer-songwriter Glenn Danzig. Together with Bassist Jerry Only, the duo almost single handed created the horror-punk-subgenre.
For those not as familiar with the Misfits as they should be, these cats were at the top of the punk world from 1977 to 1983. They brought notice to the genre along with John Doe and Exene Cervaka of X. The current incarnation of the post-Danzig Misfits is lead by Jerry Only. Under his reign, the Misfits released the seminal punk rock albums American Psycho and Famous Monsters. More recent releases include Land of the Dead in 2009 and The Devil’s Rain due in October, 2011.
As for the crowed that came to see The Misfits, they were amped to say the least. Even Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave was spotted at the show. The freaks were definitely out that night just a hop, skip and a jump from the “House the Mouse Built” aka the House of Blues, Anaheim. There was everything from black leather jackets, Dock Martin boots with skeleton feet, Creepers, Exploited, Damned and Sex Pistols T’s, Mohawks, tattoos and piercings as far as the eye could see. That, and a variety of Misfits caricatures were abound. Nathan Alonzo off Los Angeles even sported a Misfits tattoo on his leg.
The show started and opening act Juicehead was great, they sounded crisp and had a very radio friendly sound. They crowd warmed up to lead singer Rob Vannice and he gave them a great performance.
Although The Dickies played in Hollywood and didn’t partake in the Anaheim show, fellow punk band D.I. covered Amoeba in Anaheim. They and killed it with their vintage sound and happy-go-luck attitude. It only took a couple of sound before security had to be on alert as the mosh-pit began to take no prisoners. Quite a testament to The Dickies allure while D.I. opened eyes with their sound. D.I. features ex-Adolescents and Social Distortion drummer Casey Royer on vocals.
As for the pre-show discussions, several of their fans engaged in heated chats about which band was best. The Gleen Danzig version, or the Jerry Only version? Once the show started, everyone seemed to put their differences aside to listen to the band they came to see, no matter who was at the helm.
The Misfits took the stage to their traditional post apocalyptic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Horror-Punk looking stage set. The look and feel very much captured the essence of punk music. Fans loved the look and feel.
Their music immediately brought the crowd to a frenzy. It seemed like they played a zillion songs, each being a traditional punk song at two minutes in length, with intros that would make you think Marky Ramone was somewhere on stage with the band. They opened with songs from the new album and a plethora of others. Songs like Static age, Hatebreeders, The Abominable Dr. Phibes (American Psycho), The Shining, Scream, Attitude, Where Eagles Dare, Skulls, Dig Up Her Bones and crowd favorite Halloween. They ended with a bone-crushing and mosh-pit driving rendition of Descending Angel.
After the show, Only came out and shook hands and took photos with the faithful. A definite class act and move. If you are a punk fan, you need to check out this cast of characters that are The Misfits.
For more information on the Misfits, go to their social media pages on FaceBook and MySpace, or go to www.misfits.com
The Misfits feature: Jerry Only, Dez Cadena and Eric “Chupacabra” Arce.