The Misfits were nothing less than a ground breaking group when they formed so long ago and delivered unto the macabre music maniacs their unique brand of Horror Punk. While many lineup changes have occurred since the earlier days, the band now finds bassist Jerry Only accompanied by drummer Robo and guitarist Dez Cadena. Tonight for Halloween 2008 the band would perform a killer set of material with special guest openers Johnny B. Morbid, Until Destiny and Martyrd. We were on point to document the performance and also to rock out in proper attire for the night. Scroll past the logo below to be taken to our item.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Until Destiny, Martyrd, Johnny B. Morbid
Label: Misfits Records
Halloween Night in New York City is generally an unforgettable time and when you add to this fact that it was a Friday and was going to find me at The Misfits show at my home away from home venue of B.B. King’s, well, you can imagine the hell raising that was going to be taking place this evening. The interesting thing for me was that while a long time fan of the bands music I never caught them back in the day when Glen Danzig fronted them, but I did enjoy when the former singer did a short set of Misfits classics a few years ago during his tour and brought out the bands monster axe slinger Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. The band is now comprised of bassist Jerry Only, guitarist Dez Cadena and drummer Robo who together deliver the classics like only this grouping possibly can. The spirit of the evening found me digging up an old mask and wig to walk among the costumed fans of the band that had convened inside B.B. King Blues Club and with the opening bands being three groups that I had already seen I was very excited to see what was going to take place this evening.
Johnny B. Morbid: I was no longer a stranger to the guys in Johnny B. Morbid who I had to say really kept me entertained with their set during the gig done on his same stage when former Misfit Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein was doing his new stuff with his band Gorgeous Frankenstein. Given that these young New Jersey based Horror Punkers play a similar style to that of the headliner it made it a rather appropriate that they were on first. Of course, all three bands who opened tonight were independent or unsigned groups, so a shift in the stage time roster would not have made any difference to anyone. The band is fronted by Johnny B. himself, who sports an interesting half-skull face paint and his long time comrade at arms is Count Vlad Cadmus, who plays the guitar. Mr. Morbid would tonight be sporting the karate uniform of the Kobra Kai dojo (from those Karate Kid movies) while the rest of the guys seemed to be playing other roles tonight as opposed to their usual alter egos. I like what they do as a band, but really feel that there should be some upgrading in terms of the visual end of their gigs. One high mark for the identity is to be given but if they really want to run with this they need to establish themselves as a band that one cannot miss. We have legendary Horror Punkers still at the game in bands of their own and newer ones that are on the rise so in order for these young dudes to have any longevity they need to up their own game just a little bit. Otherwise I really enjoyed them once again and was a little bummed that the place was not yet crowded because they missed a fun time. Until Destiny was up next.
Until Destiny: The last time I caught these guys was as the opener for Wedneday 13 and with the main act tonight being quite along those lines I once again felt that their brand of Neo-Classical Power Metal was being delivered to an audience that couldn’t care less about them. There were some notable differences this time around as keyboardist Mike Destiny was no longer involved in the group which bore his name and to my knowledge the keys virtuoso is now working with former Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolki so my guess would be that this gig hardly mattered to him. Axe slinger Robert Katrikh was on fire once again over the powerful rhythm section provided by bassist Joey Bones and drummer John Macaluso. Each of these guys were new to the lineup since the last time I caught them, but singer Chandler Mogel was not and he was impressing me a little bit more tonight. The band is good but like I said they need to play some shows with bands of their type for me to better gauge them against their peers. It’s one thing to perform maddening tricks of guitar and drum acrobatics but for a headliner like this one, the thing that matters most is the level of fun and not super serious intensity. Katrikh has a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen flair and doles out the guitar picks to the crowd like a stranger passing out candy and while I enjoy how he plays do think he needs to be a little more humble up there because there are a lot of axe wizards out there who already are taking no prisoners and he can be easily lost amidst their number. I wish the new lineup well in their adventures and considering I have caught them twice in only a matter of months will assume that they shall be back here before I know it.
Martyrd: he guys in Martyrd had impressed me quite a bit with their opening set on that eleventh hour headling set that was recently done by Sonata Arctica when Nightwish’s singer Anette had fallen ill and caused the gig to be cancelled. Tonight marks the third time that I have seen them, and I’m happy to report that they are getting better and better at what they do. I have a copy of their CD now, and while independently released, the guys really give the buyer a lot of their brand of Old School Thrash Metal. They also came out in costume this evening and with their singer Kevin dressed like a character out of Aladdin, there was bound to be some controversy after the gig since he seemed to be of Indian descent himself. They were doing well this evening and Mike who handles guitar was delivering some cool leads and much like the Morbid clan from earlier on were very engaging to their audience. The club was now loaded to capacity because we were approaching the almost Witching Hour and The Misfits walked among us.
Misfits: There are some folks who might disagree about the band still going by the name The Misfits since the band consists of Jerry Only who is the sole member of the founding lineup, but in the end their drummer Robo was considered part of the bands classic roster and Dez comes to use care of Black Flag. Doyle is now doing his own thing and Danzig his own, so if you want Misfits music this will be the only place to get it, unless you are forming some sort of tribute band that plans on pulling out all the stops. The stage was set up with a lot of cool and dramatic stuff and when the tarp for Robo’s drum kit was taken away it revealed one of the coolest and largest drum sets that I had ever seen in my life. The toms and bass drums were not only huge in size but bore tremendous spikes. Skeletal remains were on top of Jerry’s microphone stand which worked well with the skull that adorns his bass guitar. The band hit the stage like a thunderclap and I watched as the audience exploded on the floor of the venue. There was a lot of crowd surfing and moshing as the band delivered nothing less than a blockbuster set list that covered all eras of the bands catalog. Tonight I was hell bent on enjoying the show as a fan as well as a keeper of the book of Metal and Hard Rock and with an audience that was all dressed in various costumes it was hard to not find this being the case. The venue was also set up with some awesome decorations that had apparently been left behind from a party that was held here the previous night. Giant skeletons and devils and generally villainous looking goblins and ghosts that I snapped a couple of photos of for good measure.
If you’ve never listened to The Misfits because you felt that they were not “your thing”, you are really missing out on a good time with some really rocking tunes that provided a lot of influence that we still feel in the music world of today. Only was an excellent front man tonight and handled all of the vocals in good fashion as Robo and Dez did their thing. The music was speeding by like a freight train and there was a whole lot of distortion and crunch in every note coming out of the skull-labeled amplifiers. Over the years I was one of the more casual fans of the bands stuff since I leaned to more Power Metal when they were coming into prominence but I had to say that they were playing every song that I enjoyed from their catalog. Some of the highlights for me was being able to hear the way the two tracks that Metallica covered from the band were supposed to sound like under the guidance of some of their original creators. Another moment of coolness came when Jerry called out Johnny B. Morbid who would sing along with the band on a tune and that had to really make the young singers day. There were about thirty two songs from beginning to end but the set went by so rapidly that before you knew it, three songs had already passed you by. Jerry seemed to do all the talking but Dez was given a little bit of equal time and as result was able to deliver a couple of Black Flag classics for the crowd. Each of these numbers only added to the coolness factor of the whole show.
After the show Jerry spent some quality time with his fans and signed their albums and posed for photos. There were a couple of guys dressed as both him and Doyle who had done a great job of it, and there was even a Sarah Palin or two and many vampires, fairies, and Gothic Lolita’s (although I am unsure as to whether those were costumes or just regular clothes for the night out). A bunch of Ghostbusters and a super cool looking Marilyn Monroe were there as well. Talk about covering all bases in Popular Culture. The band comes around often and if you get the chance to see them on Halloween night then you can consider your musical list as one more notch complete. It might be cool to see them reunited with Doyle and Danzig but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Either way, don’t miss out on this if your calendar shows it as coming around your area.
Misfits Set list:
2. Earth A.D.
4. Horror Business
5. Hybrid Moments
6. Teenagers From Mars
8. Some Kinda Hate
9. Astro Zombies
11. I Turned Into A Martian
12. 20 Eyes
13. Six Pack
14. Horror Hotel
15. Ghouls Night Out
17. Hollywood Babylon
19. London Dungeon
20. Thirsty and Miserable (Black Flag cover)
21. American Psycho
22. Walk Among Us
23. Dig Up Her Bones
24. Kong At the Gates / The Forbidden Zone
25. Crawling Eye
27. Last Caress
28. American Nightmare
29. We are 138
30. Green Hell – Encore
31. Rise Above (Black Flag cover) – Encore
32. Die, Die My Darling – Encore
Bonus Treats For The Ghouls & Boys: I mentioned in the article about how the venue was decorated with some super monsteriffic gargoyles, ghosts, demons and skeletons. Well, I did take photos of those as well and am presenting them here for your flesh hungry zombie souls to enjoy.
These scary denizens of the dark were hanging around from various parts of the venue ceiling and they made for some superb Halloween atmosphere in my humble opinion. They were also HUGE in size and enough to give anyone a heart attack should they be encountered on a secluded alley. Let’s be happy they are fake and don’t exist – or do they?