Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: Behemoth, Chimaira, Mortiis
Labeled the “Blackest Of The Black” tour this show would have Glen Danzig taking to the stage once again and New York’s brand new Nokia Times Square Theatre would be the place to be. He would also have some very interesting Metal with him as Mortiis, The Agony Scene, Himsa, Behemoth and Chimaira made up the rest of the touring roster. I will speak on the venue separately a little later. Given the early start time I am sad to report that I missed both The Agony Scene and Mortiis but I did manage to catch a good amount of the Himsa set. They are not that bad from what I saw and while most of their material leans to the Metal-Core edge there is a sufficient “traditional” vibe being displayed in some of there songs. The crowd was not as good yet in terms of numbers but that was slowly growing and the shiny new floors of the club were soon to be scuffed by the moshing audience. Behemoth came up soon after and this would be the 3rd time that I will have seen them and I can attest that you do not have to be a Death Metal fan to enjoy the power and brutality that this band brings to the table. They are both impressive and imposing and tonight I felt they would be a hard act to follow no matter who was on the bill. They primarily showcased material from the CD “Demigod” and despite one technical glitch in the middle of the set they simply assaulted the audience note after note. Nergal is a great front man and in addition to the corpse paint that Behemoth already sports he comes out dressed as the Demigod late in their set. It adds a larger sense of drama to the performance and makes them a good choice as opener for Danzig and the material he lays down. Some of the tunes they performed were “Sculpting The Throne ov Seth”, “Demigod”, As Above So Below”, “Conquer All”, and “Anti-Christian”. I felt Behemoth knocked most of the people attending for a loop. This was the biggest US crowd that I had seen assembled for them and they performed accordingly.
Chimaira came up next and I just saw them on “Sounds Of The Underground 2005” over the Summer. They are a powerful band also and lean towards the Metal Core side as Himsa did. Tight performers all around but I found it a little difficult to enjoy them as much as I did Behemoth. While I thought Chimaira was good at what they were doing I felt they should have been switched with the Lads from Poland in the lineup roster. As the intro music came for Glenn, the placed was not sold out but very nicely packed. If I had to guess I would say over a thousand people easily were in the room. I decided to sit back in the seating area and take notes and enjoy myself that way. When Glenn hit the stage with the band it seemed as though there was some PA system issues but those were quickly resolved and on it went. I caught Danzig early in the year and was pleased to see Type-O-Negative’s Johnny Kelly was on the drums once again. He is a solid player and fits right in to the context of the Danzig music. The main difference would be in lead guitar players as since that show I caught earlier in the year the band had replaced their guitarist. Gone was Tommy Victor who was ably replaced by Joe Fraulob. Joe did a fantastic job on all of the material and it seemed like a seamless transition for the whole group. Jerry Montano remains on bass and works with Kelly’s drumming very well. I wanted to make sure I covered this show for it was reported that Danzig would be leaving the touring world and retiring on to other things. He would do the occasional gig but not a full-fledged tour like this one. He has movie and comic book projects that he wishes to get more focus on. The projects fall in line with the image and subject matter Glenn has always followed in his music.
The Danzig set was a larger collection of classic material than I remembered the last show having. This pleased me for I was longing for some of the numbers he had omitted the last time around. It was also good for I am sure a large amount of the audience also attended this last show in the area. Giving the audience almost two completely different sets is a win-win situation for all. One of the highlights of that show was the appearance of Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, his partner from the Misfits. I was excited to find out that this would be the case again and for the entire tour and not just a few choice shows. The audience at large surely deserved this treat for while Glenn does not do much talking, he does announce Doyle and out he lunges like the monster he is. From there the next 25 minutes or so are filled with Misfits classics. Given the short length of the songs you are getting a nice sampling of this influential Punk bands catalog. During this portion of the show I felt the crowd was at its wildest and most-uncontrolled. Moshing and surfing all around me and it is great to see this now referred to as “classic” music go over so well in such a younger audience. He gave props to My Chemical Romance who had covered a Misfits track and cite him as a major influence in their career. As you can see by the listed songs below a great amount of material was played yet the Danzig set was just over an hour in length. He closed the show with a Misfits tune and again Doyle came out to play. This time it was to perform “Die, Die My Darling” which as he said was covered by Metallica and f**ked up by them as well. Personally I thought their version was OK, and was happy to hear the original done by half the original Misfits. It was an enjoyable night altogether and the audience certainly got more than their money’s worth. If Glenn truly is retiring, I hope one of his comeback appearances finds him with the entire Misfits lineup as that would go over like gangbusters.
Venue Notes: As this is a brand-new place I am commenting on it in this paragraph. The Nokia Theatre Times Square is built inside the former home of the Loew’s Astor Plaza (a great place to see a movie in NYC before they closed it). You cannot walk in to this place and expect the grim and gritty Metal show venue environment. The best way to view it is as if you were walking into “The Theatre” in Madison Square Garden or The Beacon Theatre. Everything looks pristine and there are a lot of areas to walk around once you go downstairs the almost five levels to the venue itself. As a Journalist I did not like getting frisked the three times that I ended up having done but at least they are thorough. They use Metal detectors also which after the Dimebag incident will most likely be more common place occurrence going forward at the bigger venues. This place is big as well and offers an almost 2000 person capacity. Remember this when an artist you enjoy shows this as a stop on the tour because visually if this place undersells it will surely show very much.
Photography Notes: None, nadda, zilch. No photos seemed to be permitted across the board tonight and I confirmed this with other media folks that I saw while walking around. Venue security was even coming to you if you were holding up your camera phone. While I am not certain if this was Danzig’s doing or venue itself, I only know that it stopped me from bringing a little more to the readership.
Danzig Set List:
1. Skin Carver
2. Satan’s Child
3. I Luciefri
4. Circle Of Snakes
5. 1000 Devils Reign
6. How The Gods Kill
7. Not Of This World
8. Soul On Fire
9. Her Black Wings
10. 20 Eyes *
11. Astro Zombies *
12. Skulls *
13. Mommy Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight *
14. Earth A.D. *
15. Last Caress *
16. We Are 138 *
17. Bringer Of Death
18. Twist Of Cain
20. Do You Wear The Mark?
21. Die Die My Darling *
Official Web site: http://www.danzig-verotik.com
Official Web site: www.behemoth.pl
Official Web site: http://www.chimaira.com
Official Web site: http://www.mortiis.com
Official Web site: http://www.Himsa.org