Glenn Danzig - Gibson Amphitheatre - 10-31-11
Better than...God damn sons of a bitch.
"It's fucking Halloween, do you know where your skull is?" Glenn Danzig inquired of the chock-full Gibson Amphitheater crowd last night. Personally, my skull was about to explode from sensory overload, what with the thousands of devotees in white face make-up, ketchup, and black Misfits garb. Glenn himself was as ridiculously musclebound as ever; he likes to flex by raising his arms and bringing his hands together over his head.
This show was on his one-time-only, four-stop "Danzig Legacy" tour, which meant he did sets featuring his solo material, Samhain and Misfits, each with the appropriate logos on the stage behind him. For Samhain he even came out in his black gimp mask.
The crowd was more metal than punk, but, as noted in Benjamin Lozovsky's Village Voice review of the New York show, sonically the work from Samhain and the Misfits didn't sound as distinct as it should. Lots of thick riffs and squealing guitars. Not that anyone cared; the crowd was going bonkers almost from the start. The mosh pit was nearly as wide as the stage, and as far as I can tell not a single audience sat at any time during the performance. People tossed rolls of toilet paper and beverages toward the stage, which had an interesting visual effect, even if it sucks getting beer on your head.
Danzig himself, as is known, is far from a technically sound showman. He held the mic upside down much of the time, and often did not sing directly into it. It sounded like he was about to throw out his voice. But he had the theatrics down -- pounding the mic against his chest and articulating his pro-evil, anti-government philosophies. When his also-muscled, also-sleeveless guitar players took over for solos, he pantomimed the motions of beating up an invisible person.
The crowd's energy level began to peak with "Horror Business," and predictably further Misfits tracks made people lose their shit. The story about how Dallas authorities told him he was no longer welcome in their town preceded "Bullet," after which he noted: "As you can see, this ain't no Tom Petty concert."
But GD and the Wilbury have more in common than the former would admit. They both have a catalog of arena rockers at their disposal, and for all of the sonic dissonance of Danzig's work, at the heart of his tunes are great singalongs. None are better than "I Turned Into A Martian," which even at twice the speed still gave everyone ample chance to wail.
"Halloween," he said he'd heard, was played on Live with Regis and Kelly that morning, which is, I suppose, awesome, though it's too bad they didn't follow it with "Astro Zombies" and "Last Caress" like Danzig did. After "Mother" and "Skulls" it was a wrap.
"Try not to kill anybody," he advised us on our way out. "I know it's hard."
Critical bias: I later turned back into a human.
The crowd: Devil horn devotees of a certain age.
Random notebook dump: Cheers to the two guys in white Polo cardigan sweaters dressed as country club nerds.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.