The Original MISFITS with Alkaline Trio and Discharge @ The Forum in Inglewood, California, December 30th, 2017
In 1977 in the small town of Lodi, New Jersey the Misfits were formed by Glenn Danzig. Fast forward 40 years later and on December 30th 2017 The Misfits played to a sold out crowd in Inglewood, California at the famous Forum , and it was a magical night of sing-a-longs, nostalgia, and 100% pure Punk goodness.
Upon arrival at The Forum you were asked to hand your cell phones, smart watches and or any other recording device over to the courteous staff so they may be placed in a “Yondr” pouch (basically a soft enclosed case that locks). I had some reservations at first. I mean, I have kids at home and what if there was an emergency? I was informed by staff that there were plenty of places around the arena to have them unlocked so you may use your device. It was still a little unnerving – I kept thinking “was that a Facebook notification or is my house on fire?” But I’ll be the first to admit it; it was a refreshing change of pace not seeing thousands of cell phone screens around the arena taking bad videos and blurry pictures. But of course, where there is a will there is a way. I did see a handful of fans that managed to get their phones in without them being locked up, but overall this night was about the music.
No review would be complete without a formal complaint so I will get mine out of the way early. This one is probably going to be looked at as petty and fan-boyish, but I have to tell you, it really bothered me most of the night. Anybody who knows me knows I’m a sucker for collecting autographs, picks, or any type of memorabilia from my favorite artist. After locking up our phones I went straight to the merch both and saw a solid array of t-shirts, hoodies, hats, even Misfits wallets with chains, which you couldn’t buy until after the show because I guess the chains attached to the wallets cold be used as a weapon. But there it was, staring me in the face, an autographed tour poster of the reunion show. I told my beautiful wife, “well that sucks, I’m about to drop $100 on an autographed poster.” As my wife just started to roll her eyes at me I noticed something, something that instantly made my blood boil: there were only two signatures on the poster, Glenn and Jerry (whose signatures I own already on separate set lists). Where the hell is Doyle? Ok, I can understand Lombardo not being on there, sort of, but where the hell is Doyle’s at? Was it because he isn’t truly an original member? Or was this a bigger money grab for Glenn and Jerry? I found it to be incredibly disrespectful to Doyle because any fan knows Doyle is the one who brokered this deal, mended the fences between his brother Jerry and Glenn and made these shows happen. Maybe it’s me, maybe there were forces working behind the scenes I’m not aware of… whatever the case was, it saved me $100. But that didn’t stop others from buying the – I saw cardboard tubes being carried around by thousands of folks that night, but I wasn’t one of them. <Rant over.>
Being a people watcher as I am one thing was very obvious to me as I walked The Forum grounds: this one of the most diverse crowds I may have ever seen at a show. From four year olds to 74 year olds were present; parents, kids, husbands and wives, every shape size and ethnicity were in attendance which really added to the experience of the show.
With handpicked opening acts of Discharge (who were really, really good) and Alkaline Trio (the only time I missed not having my phone) the crowd slowly but surely filled the arena and the tension was definitely building with each passing moment. I mean think about it like this, this is the same venue I where I saw Iron Maiden sell out back to back nights in 2016, and here is a Punk band doing the same thing… a real Punk band.
My wife and I were in line awaiting service for some adult beverages when the first chords of “Death Comes Ripping” rang out, pretty amazing sight. The lines that had been 12-15 people deep – POOF – disappeared within ten seconds of that first note. Panic washed over me for a brief second, but I knew I would need that drink for the amount of singing that was headed my way. We got to our seats in section 236, row 6, facing center stage just in time for the song “20 Eyes.” The crowd was in full throat and it was electric.
Something was being made very clear to me and the rest of my fellow Misfits fans: Glenn’s voice was pretty well blown out. For those who don’t know, the Inglewood show was announced and sold out quickly, then at a later date they added a Las Vegas show two days prior to the Inglewood show, which quite frankly pissed me off. But, I sucked it up and looked at it like a warm up show and moved forward. When Glenn first spoke it sounded like he had been drinking sand, lots and lots of sand. He told everyone he was sick, but I think he blew his voice out in Vegas.
Throughout the first part of the night Mr. Danzig’s voice seemed to fade in and out and I wasn’t sure he was going to pull through, but close to the half way mark in a set list that was close to 30 songs the Punk Gods smiled upon Glenn and he had his voice back. Listen, I’m a Danzig fan; I have seen him a lot, maybe too many times. I know his voice isn’t what it once was, and I’m ok with that, but to hear him belt out some of the best Punk ever written, no matter what his voice sounded like, was a treat.
Now moving on to Mr. Jerry Only. That sick distorted bass line was a force on the eardrums and sounded just as it was supposed to sound: loose, loud and fast. Plus keeping in mind Jerry had really been the one who has carried The Misfits torch for a lot of years touring with his version of the iconic Punk group, so needless to say Jerry and his backup vocals were spot on and well appreciated.
Doyle, good ole Doyle. What a fucking monster this Vegan powered maniac is. The iconic, incredibly powerful self taught guitarist was everything you come to expect. He literally beat the shit out of that guitar and drew blood as usual. Popping his chewing gum and blowing bubbles all night long you could tell this was all business for him. Never saying a word he just played, clobbering that guitar like it stole his last protein bar. His playing style isn’t going to win him any Grammys, but who cares about the Grammys. He was out of rhythm a few times, hit a few wrong notes, but this is Punk rock and that only adds to what makes this genre of music so great.
Ok Mr. Lombardo, it’s your turn. I have no shame when it comes to my love of Dave Lombardo; he is my second favorite drummer of all time (second to John Bonham) and he was more or less perfect. Here you have a guy that was the back bone of the GREATEST Thrash bands of all time – Slayer, who has moved on to form other musical groups that vary in style; he plays with Suicidal Tendencies, and now he sits behind the kit blasting out Misfits tunes. When Glenn, Jerry and Doyle schemed up this idea of reuniting The Misfits and put in a call Dave Lombardo, they made the right choice. Lombardo’s style fits the Punk genre to a T. Fast, powerful and he never takes seems to get tired. Just when things seem to be off or get too loose you could clearly see Jerry and Dave wrangling in the song and putting everything back in place. I have seen Dave Lombardo play a few dozen times, and this by far was one of the most exciting shows I have ever seen him play, just brilliant.
Real Punk Rock
The Misfits sold out the Forum with their old school style of Punk rock that very few possess today, or have ever possessed. The Punk horror show that night was everything that is good about “real” Punk music: fast, out of control at times, off key at times and loud. With so many bands trying to perfect their sound now, it was a refreshing throwback to a time where you just went out and played. You didn’t need 15 semi-trucks to carry around your stage and gear; you just went out and played. You didn’t have a full team of people behind the controls to make you sound perfect, you just went out and played. And maybe most importantly, you didn’t give a fuck what anybody thought or said; you just went out and played. That’s what Punk is, and should always be. Forty years later The Misfits still have it – they still have all of those before mentioned characteristics: they are The Misfits, they are Punk, and they don’t give a fuck.
What a show.
- Death Comes Ripping
- 20 Eyes
- I Turned Into a Martian
- Where Eagles Dare
- Some Kinda Hate
- Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
- All Hell Breaks Loose
- Hybrid Moments
- Teenagers From Mars
- London Dungeon
- Earth A.D.
- Green Hell
- Horror Business
- Hollywood Babylon
- Who Killed Marilyn
- Violent World
- Die, Die My Darling
- Astro Zombies
- Last Caress
- Night of the Living Dead
- We Are 138