The Misfits – Alrosa Villa, Columbus Ohio 12/7/07

It’s been a long time since I’d witnessed the Misfits in concert, and their 30th anniversary show was definitely a site for sore eyes.  Jerry Only (the ONLY remaining founding member) plus Dez and Robo, both formerly of Black Flag, assaulted the stage like undead commandos, and relentlessly blasted through their set with enthusiastic professionalism, while offering some respect for a fallen comrade.  More on that in a bit.

The night started out poorly; I was very late to the show, missing all of the first band (Seditious Libel) and only heard half of the last song by the next band, Overated.  They were heavy and I think I heard a girl singer.  That’s about all I can tell you.

Next up were The Get-Ups, out of North Lewisburg Ohio.  This small town trio, playing the biggest show they’ve ever done to date, mixed decent old school punk with SKA, and in one instance even did a short rap between songs.  While I really liked their traditional sound, I could do without the SKA and the rap – both of which I think hurt the overall momentum of their set.  Still, for their first big gig, they did respectably well and I hope this leads to larger things for the guys. 

After an extended break during which Jerry ran out briefly to throw guitar picks to the crowd and we were treated to musak versions of classic Misfit’s staples such as Last Caress, the morbid threesome took the stage, opening with the legendary ‘Halloween’.  Upon finishing it, Jerry announced ‘This is for Darrell’ (a reference to Darrell ‘Dimebag’ Abbott) and they stormed ahead to roughly an hour’s worth of songs, from old classics to some of their newer hits, although nothing off of the much rumored upcoming CD. 

My knowledge of the Misfit back catalog is rusty, but I did recognize the following as part of their set; Halloween, Attitude, Some Kinda Hate, Astro Zombies, Skulls, Horror Hotel, Angelfuck, Hollywood Babylon, Vampira, London Dungeon, American Psycho, Dig Up Her Bones, Forbidden Zone, Crawling Eye, But You Love Me Anyway, Last Caress, American Nightmare, We Are 138, Green Hell, and they closed with Die Die My Darling.  There are probably 6-7 more that I don’t have listed (Hey, YOU try writing them all down as they’re fired at you every other minute!).

The guys were tight and seemed to enjoy playing the show.   The stage theatrics were still there, what with 2 giant skulls on either side, a glowing red skeleton in a coffin standing beside Jerry’s amps, and ROBO’s headhunter drumset – it felt like a ‘typical’ Misfits show, if there is such a thing.  Near the end of the set, Jerry offered a toast to the memory of Dimebag, saying he’d promised to “make him proud of us”.  He then asked the crowd “Do you think Dime would be proud?”, wherein the obligatory cheer went up from the Hot Topic kiddies in the pit.

Here’s a camera phone shot of Jerry and a young fan who they let up on stage for a few brief moments of glory.

Jerry and young fan on stage at the Alrosa Villa on Dec. 12 
Many folks don’t consider this line-up the ‘real’ Misfits, citing that the Glenn Danzig era line-up was the only true Misfits, or possibly the Famous Monsters era line-up which included vocalist Michale Graves, guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and drummer Dr. Chud.  Whatever that case may be, the band does seem to be growing it’s fanbase with the younger set, aided no doubt by the intense level of product marketing they produce (heck, you can get most ANYTHING with a Misfits skull on it these days).

Oh, and to prove it was a least a REAL punk show, below is a picture of the mosh pit floor afterwards.  Yes, that’s really blood – and not the stage variety. 

When the show was over, both Jerry and Dez were greeted by hundreds of adoring autograph seekers, which they graciously endured with grins and what seemed like sincere appreciation.   While on one hand it’s almost funny to see so many kids who are woefully ignorant of the band’s history, and the fact that this current version is virtually unrecognizable from the Danzig-led original, it’s also encouraging to see so much support for the arguable founders of Horror Rock.  Even though they’re not the creative innovators of days past, the band still puts on an entertaining and energetic show worthy of carrying on the name.

And happily, the legacy of brutality continues.

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