Dark, storm clouds cleared momentarily over the Prudential Center to allow the creepy fiends to crawl out of their crypts to catch Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only reunite in this current incarnation of The Misfits. After their reunion performances at Riot Fest in Denver and Chicago, east coast fans eagerly awaited word of a homecoming to the garden state. Danzig hadn’t sung with the Misfits since 1983. The hordes of black-clad fans marked with the symbol of the sardonic Crimson Ghost that descended onto the Prudential Center like packs of George A. Romero extras were hungry for the horror punk assault the Misfits were famous for and they largely got what they craved for.
When Danzig was originally in the Misfits, the typical venue they played was a small, grimy club. Since breaking up, Danzig has gone on to headline major venues across the world and Jerry Only’s constantly revamped Misfits line-ups have managed to get arena gigs over the years. This show, however, would be the first real arena show a Danzig-fronted Misfits would headline. Unfortunately, the sound was off. Depending on where you sat in the arena, you may have had trouble hearing Danzig’s vocals, especially in between songs when he engaged in banter with the band and audience. The original Misfits often had to deal with even shittier production in their early days, so in a way the audio problems provided a hint of raw punkness.
There have been rumors that Danzig is contemplating retirement and his performance did show that age has been catching up to him. He seemed winded and breathed heavily into the mike. Only’s devilock has turned into a rather unusual combover. As for guitarist Doyle von Frankenstein, he must be drinking virgin blood because he doesn’t look to have aged at all.
Rock and roll does have some rejuvenation properties because the more the band played, all the issues I mentioned just didn’t matter anymore. Danzig continued to belt out his classical crooning style over one classic Misfits song after another. Only kept running across the stage while playing his bass and then sliding on knees like any rockstar half his age. Doyle stomped away in his typical monster style. Auxiliary Misfits members also rocked out with ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo beating the drums with machine-like precision and former Murderdolls member Acey Slade providing some solid rhythm guitar.
The fiends ate it up like ravenous beasts. The cool thing about a band whose average song is less than two minutes is that a lot of material can be churned out during one show. The Misfits set included 21 songs plus a six-song encore. Classics like “Last Caress,” “Attitude” and “Where Eagles Dare” were played alongside lesser-known songs such as “Death Comes Ripping,” “Some Kind of Hate” and” Violent World.” It was overall a very diverse set list and even though a more jaded fan could complain about what the Misfits didn’t play (what, no “We are 138?”), you really had to admit it was awesome for Misfits to play “Halloween” while two giant, grinning jack o’ lanterns with glowing eyes loomed over the stage.
The wish of a Misfits homecoming in New Jersey was finally fulfilled, but to many fiends this taste of blood has only made them want more. Will the newly resurrected Misfits continue to tour? Will they record new material? What does the future hold for Danzig and the Misfits? The man himself, Glenn Danzig only offered a cryptic message to the audience as he left the stage saying, “If we come back, see you again. If not…”