It’s been three years since Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Paul Caiafa, better known as Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, reunited to tour as The Original Misfits, which continued for three years. In an interview earlier this month, Danzig stated that the band may not do many more reunion shows. An exit this large from the music industry commands a stadium-sized audience of passionate fans to experience the band’s stage chemistry, aggression and punk spirit live. It needs high-profile headliners in their own right such as The Distillers and Rise Against to capture the audience’s attention and prepare them for what might be one of the last few moments of this legendary band’s career. With such a dedicated fan base to serve, it also needs a venue like the Banc Of California Stadium.
Starting off the day at 4:50 p.m. were the Cro-Mags, who have just released their first piece of new music in over 20 years. They opened up the show with “World Peace,” a song the lead singer and bassist Harley Flanagan stated was as relevant today as it was 20 years ago. They played aggressively through a slew of their classics such as “Malfunction” and “Street Justice,” before closing out the show with “Hard Times.” The crowd was energetic throughout the performance headbanging and moshing with furious energy until their set had ended.
Up next was the hardcore punk group Anti-Nowhere League, who opened up their set with a strong and passionate energy that dug deep into the power and aggression punk music is famous for. Their lead singer, Animal (Nick Culmer) delivered each track clad in all black, ripping through songs such as “God Bless Alcohol,” “We Are The League” and “So What.”
Following Anti-Nowhere League were The Distillers, who started off their show loudly with “Beat Your Heart Out.” The crowd was immediately drawn in by the band’s sonic power and energy. Fronted as always by lead singer/guitarist Brody Dalle, mosh pits formed throughout their set, going through tracks such as “Dismantle Me” and crowd favorite “City of Angels.”
Rise Against began their set right after, starting with a heavy bass sound which shook across the entire stadium. From there, the band went on to perform “Architects” and then followed that up with another of their hits, “Ready To Fall.” Throughout the night, the band played a ton of crowd-pleasers, from “Satellite” to “Savior,” each of which sparked a numerous mosh pits and explosive energy from the crowd. At the end of their set Rise Against closed out with arguably their most popular song “Prayer Of The Refugee,” leaving the crowd in just the right frame of mind for headliners The Misfits.
The Misfits arrived on stage a bit later than expected, starting off their set around 9:30. At this point, the stage was adorned with a large screen in the background projecting various Misfits logos, album covers and the other horror visuals. Two giant inflatable jack o’ lanterns flanked the stage, keeping true to the band’s classic horror-inspired themes and look. The Misfits can only be described as electric as they vigorously went through song after song — they managed to jam pack 30 songs into their setlist before the night was over. They opened with their song with “Death Comes Ripping,” before launching into other songs like “I Turned Into A Martian” and “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?” Each song had the crowd singing through every line, as everyone from down in the pit all the way to the highest seats in the rafters stood up and headbanged along.
Danzig took a short break to ask the crowd if they wanted to hear “Vampira” or “20 Eyes” next, wherein “Vampira,” was chosen. At least three large circle pits formed in which their respective participants seemingly did not rest from The Misfits’ sonic onslaught. Songs such as “Earth A.D.” and “Green Hell” became further standouts through the night as they immediately captured the crowd’s attention for every single second they were played.
During another short intermission, Danzig stated that their next song would be the first time that all three of the original band members present tonight performed it on stage together, before introducing “Come Back.” They later followed that up with another crowd-pleaser “Horror Business.” Other standouts including the brilliant “Die, Die, My Darling” and “Astro Zombies” kept the crowd fully engaged before they closed out their main set proper with the now legendary cut “Last Caress.”
After their encore break, Danzig came out and said they would keep going as long as the crowd would let them. They then played seven of crowd’s most beloved Misfits songs beginning with “Where Eagles Dare.” They followed that with “Bullet,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “She,” the latter of which had some of the best fan interaction of the night, as the audience sang passionately along with Danzig. The group closed out with their staples “Attitude,” “Halloween” and “We Are 138.”
As one of the most revered bands in the punk movement, the possible ending of this reunion may signal a time when the torch must be passed onto the next generation of punk musicians. If this reformation proves to be finite at the end of this reunion tour, it was a special event that only those present could truly have appreciated. Enjoy these last moments Misfits fans, as this may be a wonderful finale to an incredible era of stellar music.
Death Comes Ripping
I Turned Into a Martian
Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
Teenagers From Mars
Children in Heat
All Hell Breaks Loose
Who Killed Marilyn
Die, Die My Darling
Some Kinda Hate
Where Eagles Dare
Night of the Living Dead
We Are 138