Danzig Sounds Strong Sticking to His Own Songs

Bayou Music Center
July 14, 2015

A gray demonic cloud escorted Glenn Danzig's tour bus towards Bayou Music Center on Tuesday, as Houston prepared to host two of the ‘90s’ darkest musicians within the span of a few days: Danzig last night and Marilyn Manson on Thursday (at NRG Arena with Smashing Pumpkins). If these legendary stars had performed this close together in their heyday, our fine city would have had visits from Anton LeVay and Billy Graham to battle over the souls of the Bayou City. It is a great week for Houston Satanists to rejoice! 

But during the process of getting patted down and entering the venue, Tuesday’s concertgoers were informed that absolutely no photography was allowed. Upon finding out that this was strictly a solo show and not part of the Legacy Tour, which prominently featured songs from Glenn Danzig’s other bands (Misfits, Samhain), several fans in the smoking pen also voiced their disappointment. Still, they would be pleased with their experience by night’s end.

Oh, the duality of Danzig. Just like the contrasting composition of the distinct skull logo, several things were starkly different during Tuesday’s concert.  When he loudly belted out his lyrics he sounded great, but when softly crooning his voice sounded raspy and worn out. The set started out fairly strong, and then took a pretty bad turn for the worse. As Danzig began talking about a cover album being released in the fall, his version of Elvis Presley’s “Let Yourself Go” sounded horrible. It was impossible to discern whether his voice was simply destroyed or the microphone plug was slipping from its dock. He cleared it up when he said the monitors are blown: “Get ‘em outta of here before I throw ‘em off the stage!” A large number of people walked out at this point, but that may have been the remaining Warped Tour crowd who came to see Pennywise and Cancer Bats.

Sure enough, security posted at the barricade came out into the crowd during the opening bands to shut the cameraphones down. Throughout the evening, this constant interaction with the fans seemed almost excessive. As “Am I Demon” began to play, though, it was noticeably pleasant to watch a show with a clear view of the stage, without someone obstructing a view by holding up a cellphone. And just a word to the wise: if you try to sneak photos in the dark, make sure the flash is off. Between the second and third songs, Danzig sternly told a fan, “Homeboy, if I see you with your Go-Pro again, it's on.” The singer’s people were all over the place instructing people to stop recording the performance, which actually became a distraction when fans began mocking the sporadic movements to stop the violators.

But besides Danzig’s entire mean-mugging devilish frightfulness that confronts people seemingly on the reg, there is also a much softer, gentler side. He noticed a young girl sitting on her father’s shoulders; addressing her, he found out she was celebrating her eighth birthday. He shared some kind words with her and instructed those around her to be careful and make sure no one hurt her. He also tossed water throughout the set to some of the same fans who made him feel uncomfortable by recording his performance.  

He sounded horrible during the string of cover songs, including the theme from a ’60s biker movie titled Satan’s Sadists. His voice fell off and them seemed to get incredibly stronger; guess that's the power of the Dark Lord. Seriously, it went from piss-poor to damn near amazing. The rest of the show remained perfectly in tune and his voice was strong as hell. The band finished the regular set with the lead track from Danzig’s first solo album, “Twist of Cain,” which arguably produced the largest crowd reaction, and powered straight into his biggest hit, “Mother.” After an incredible encore, the 60-year-old flexed his biceps and told the crowd once more to drive safely and “Stay swole, Houston.” 

Personal Bias: I was really disappointed that the show could not be professionally photographed, especially after seeing how well he looked. 

Overheard In the Crowd: "Danzig always brings out the metal bitches. Unfortunately, they’re the same ones that throw their panties at Bret Michaels."

Also: “Does Pennywise know the Houston Dynamo bastardized “Bro Hymn” as their goal song?”

Hammer of the Gods
Until You Call on the Dark
Am I Demon
Her Black Wings
How the Gods Kill
Let Yourself Go (Elvis Presley cover)
Devil’s Angels (cover)
N.I.B. (Black Sabbath cover)
Satan (Satan's Sadists theme)
Black Mass
Black Angel, White Angel
Twist of Cain

She Rides
Brand New God
Dirty Black Summer
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Jackson is a freelance photographer and writer covering a variety of music and sporting events in the Houston area. He has contributed to the Houston Press since 2013.
Contact: Jack Gorman