Danzig Warehouse Live October 30, 2010
For some reason over the past few years, Glenn Danzig keeps reminding us of Randy "The Ram" from The Wrestler. He's this hulking, aging entertainer who may be slowing down and have a strained relationship with his family and fans, but at the end of the night he has always worn himself ragged all just to bring a demonic grin to your face.
Danzig is also one of the only artists, save maybe Bauhaus, that we especially want to see near Halloween. His work with the Misfits, Samhain right after, and solo since 1988 has been massively influential. He oozes spooky, even if with each passing year a little bit of flakes off.
As much as you want to dismiss Danzig, there is something endearing about him, even when he takes away photo credentials at the last minute and has his own security kicking people out for snapping photos of him inside the venue during shows.
It's something we have already dealt with twice in the past few years of covering his concerts. The man simply doesn't like not having control over his image. He's not as skinny as he was in the Misfits days, his hair is thinning, but he still has his voice, and his stage presence is intact. Nature hasn't taken that away from him. But at the same time, you can't imagine the man sporting a close-cropped crew cut.
Saturday night's Danzig gig, fully loaded with openers Possessed, Marduk and Toxic Holocaust, was a perfect midway highlight for this year's Halloween weekend.
You walk into each Danzig show half-rolling your eyes, but by the time the tracks from the first two albums come around and the man settles into his element, you get locked in. Most of the time new Danzig material is tedious and annoying, but this year's Deth Red Sabaoth is actually a pleasure to listen to, so we could deal with a few new songs.
Live, when Danzig and his crew have control over his sound level, he's always on point, but when he has problems with the venue, he gets pissy and throws things around and sulks around onstage. His October 2008 House of Blues shows was a comedy of errors that lasted nearly two hours.
Saturday night though the man's voice was clear and he was bellowing and howling on point. He opened the set with "SkinCarver" from 2004's Circle of Snakes, an album that gets lost in the shuffle in his discography.
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"Twist Of Cain" and the brand-new "Hammer of the Gods" followed up. The latter is the opening track off Deth and one of his best "signature" Danzig songs in quite some time. Instead of unintentionally parodying himself, he seems to be pulling back into his bedrock influences, like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. It's paying off.
Danzig introduced "Thirteen" as the song he wrote for Johnny Cash, turning the juice up from the album version and doing the Man In Black proud. We aren't sure if the God-fearing Cash liked Halloween all that much, but we can imagine him tapping his boots to "Thirteen" Saturday night.
The first set closed with "Mother," naturally, before the band returned to encore with "Long Road Back From Hell" and "She Rides." When he gave the crowd the choice between something from his first or third album, the choice was clear, and we zoomed back to 1988.
He was friendly the whole night through, and you could see some folks picking off photos of him towards the end without incident from the security team. We got a few ourselves, but didn't feel like getting kicked out while dressed in Elizabeth Taylor drag and make-up, so we didn't push it.
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Personal Bias: Danzig's career work has been a firm influence on our lives since we first saw this clip for "Mother" on MTV. We heard he can benchpress 140.
The Crowd: Lots of metal dudes who had came out for Marduk and Possessed, oldsters from the Misfits days getting down in polos, punk rock kids, a little boy maybe no older than five, and only a handful of costumed fans. Seriously, we expected more corpse paint all around.
Overheard in the Crowd: "It's cool, I have on two other pairs of underwear."
Random Notebook Dump: Glenn Danzig reminds us of Tommy Wiseau from The Room. You're tearing me apart, Danzig!