Danzig + Misfits set @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Thursday 20th June 2013

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Review by Sophie Maughan

Glenn Danzig is an artist who needs little introduction. This is, after all, the man who is said to have “launched a thousand bands” during a career spanning almost five decades. His work with legendary horror punk outfits Misfits has influenced everyone from Metallica to Anthrax, Wednesday 13 to Guns and Roses. And that fiend skull logo is firmly imprinted on the fabric of today’s contemporary pop culture. T-shirts, mugs, duvets – you name it, it is on there.

danzig-2Danzig’s music is a delectable fusion of genres; from rockabilly punk and new wave, to the deliciously dark and doomy metal sounds of Samhain. 2013 is a pivotal year for Glenn. Not only does it mark the 25th anniversary of the seminal album Danzig, but this 3-date UK tour will also see Doyle Von Frankenstein joining him on stage. Which means that we can look forward to a Misfits set as well as the full Danzig treatment so to speak.

It is a little surprising to learn that tonight’s show is not sold out, (especially in light of the circumstances) and there is an initial air of nonchalance permeating from the fans gathered here at the Civic. But just as the sweat begins to slither down my back, I’m temporarily blinded by the strobes as the rumble of set opener ‘SkinCarver’ resonates around the venue. It’s heavy as hell but ruined slightly by the crap sound quality of the mic / PA system. The next second the diminutive dark overlord himself appears on the stage and the sense of appreciation is unmistakable. Ripped and rocking some serious black leather, horns and pints are held aloft as Danzig segues into a blistering performance of ‘Twist Of Cain’ (from Danzig I) which is swiftly followed by the pummelling, riff heavy ‘Am I Demon’ and ‘Her Black Wings’.

The frenetic pace is turned down, albeit briefly, with a riveting performance of slow burning blues-rock ballad ‘Blood And Tears’, which prompts a venue wide singalong and really showcases the power of Glenn’s vocals. We are treated to yet more hits, but it’s when the legendary Doyle is invited onstage that the proverbial shit of many a fan is lost. What follows is a nihilistic romp through a slew of Misfits classics including ‘Death Comes Ripping’, ‘Vampira’ and ‘I Turned Into a Martian’. We are invited to choose what we want to hear next. Every suggestion is greeted with rapturous applause but it is punk smasher ‘Bullet’ and classic ‘Skulls’ (“I WANT YOUR SKUUUUUUUULLS!”) which really turns up the thermostat.

“This has been a wet dream of mine since I was a kid!” an excited 50+ year old punter squeals behind me as set closer ‘Last Caress’ rings out. The noise level is at critical by this stage and it is nigh on impossible to tell where the show ended and the encore began. Whilst ‘Do You Wear the Mark’, ‘Not of This World’ and ‘Mother’ further whet the appetite, it is in Doyle we trust and as he reappears for ‘Astro Zombies’. The two vocalists are virtually inaudible as the room erupts into a deafening singalong.

The “Danzig! Danzig!” chants continue long after the final note has been uttered and as I take a quick glance to my immediate left and right, all I see is Cheshire cat grins plastered all over sweaty faces. Punks, metallers, goths and psychobillies are all united as one tonight. And it is a happy sight. Tremendous. Here’s to another 25 years – don’t leave it so long next time.