It goes without saying that if it wasn't for the Misfits, plenty of the kick-ass bands we all listen to simply wouldn't exist. The Misfits have left their influence on countless bands and individuals with their unique, whoa-filled brand of horror punk. As a thirteen year old kid rummaging through every record I could get my hands on, everything changed the day I first found a Misfits album (which, admittedly, was Famous Monsters, but which ended up introducing me to the classic Misfits). So you could imagine the absolute honor and pleasure it was this past weekend to be a part of something so fucking incredible, so fucking historical... Soulless Cult was lucky enough to attend the sold-out Original Misfits show at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on May 19th - just a stones throw from our headquarters here on Long Island. The Original Misfits, of coarse, consisted of Glenn Danzig on vocals, Jerry Only on bass and backing vocals, and Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein on guitars. It was a historical show - not only because its been 35 years since the original lineup has played together for these special set of shows, but this show in particular brought the band back to where it all began: New Jersey. My girlfriend and I left mid-afternoon and arrived at the venue just in time, as the lines began to form on the outside of the venue. After a brief wait and locking our phones up in their pouches (more on that later), we made our way into the venue to be greeted by hundreds and hundreds of fiends as they descended upon the food and merchandise booths littered around the venues outer ring. It was a crowd I'm sure the Prudential Center has never seen before, but the energy inside was electric as everyone anticipated the live music sets we would be treated to in the hours that followed.
It's no secret to frequent visitors of Soulless Cult that I kinda rarely venture outside of the death metal realm (unless it's something I grew up with, like the 'Fits for example). With that being said, I'm honestly not very well-versed in the bands that opened up the show, but I thoroughly enjoyed each one as they delivered their own sounds and takes on hardcore and punk. From Harley Flanagan and Murphy's Law to the legendary Suicidal Tendencies, each band got the crowd even more pumped than the last. Every living person in the venue that last night had so much anticipation for what kind of a show the Misfits were going to deliver later in the evening, but in the meantime, everyone was more than happy to have a blast with each of the openers. The venue was decently filled by the time Suicidal Tendencies took the stage, but once the Misfits took the stage, the place was filled with fiends from wall to wall. As the venue went dark and the band came out, the audience lost their goddamn mind as the first notes of "Death Comes Ripping" rang out - the chaos began then. Looking absolutely incredible, the Misfits plunged right into their epic compilation of some of the greatest not only Misfits songs but punk songs in general. Spanning twenty seven songs, the Original Misfits brought you right back to 1982 with their unique yet classic horror tales. From where we were sitting for the show, the sound could certainly have been better; it's worth noting that many people complained after the show that the band (vocals in particular) sounded echo-y, like there was way too much reverb in the venue. While that was certainly noticeable even from when the openers were playing, it definitely felt like it improved a bit by the time the Misfits got on. It's funny, because I honestly couldn't understand a single thing Danzig spoke in-between songs, but when he sang, there was no doubt about what song it was. The iconic "whoa's" filled the stadium as the crowd sang along to every single whoa - it was honestly a pretty surreal moment to be in New Jersey with the original badasses singing Misfits jams in a fucking stadium! All sound issues aside, I made it a point to just have a good-ass time and to enjoy the moment; phone free, too! About a week before the show, ticket-buyers were e-mailed that phones would be locked up in magnetic-closure pouches to prevent them from being used during the performances (there were designated phone-unlock stations in the outer halls where you could unlock and use your phone, but it had to be locked back up before returning to the stage). While it didn't bother me at all, some people were verbally upset that they couldn't capture the night through their lens, which is fair (especially considering the price for tickets). The majority of the crowd left their phones locked away, but a good amount managed to break the seal and get their phone out - so thanks to them, there's a bunch of great videos and photos from the night that weren't even meant to be captured, haha. I, for one, had a great time enjoying the show without my phone in my hand, and not having phones all up in my face the entire night.
The setlist the Misfits put together for the night fucking destroyed too; minus two songs, they played a monsterous set I am more than satisfied with! The classic We Are 138 and my personal favorite, Angelfuck, weren't played, but honestly you can't even complain when the band ripped through so fucking many great songs! Check out this insane set for the night!
Death Comes Ripping
I Turned Into a Martian
Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
Where Eagles Dare
Teenagers From Mars
Who Killed Marilyn
Die, Die My Darling
Night of the Living Dead
Some Kinda Hate
All Hell Breaks Loose
So yeah, with a set like that, there was no possible way for me to have a bad time. From the stunning visuals projected onto the screen behind them, to the giant pumpkin props and the sick glow-in-the-dark fiend skull amps, the show looked absolutely flawless as the band jumped and ran around stage, absolutely feeding off the energy off the crowd who were all there to celebrate one of the most historical shows in the history of the band!
I had the fucking time of my life, and it was certainly a night I'll both remember and cherish 'til the ends of my days. I've been lucky enough to go to many great shows and even meet many great bands over the years, but this... this was something on a whole other scale. This was the Original Misfits - complete with Danzig, Jerry, and Doyle - home again in New Jersey after 35 years apart. This was one of the sickest shows of my life, and if they continue to do more of these reunion shows, I can't recommend it enough how worth it it is to get to one. Hearing "Attitude" live is something I'll never, ever forget. Long live the fucking Misfits.