Wednesday 19th June 2013
Danzig + Doyle, Black Spiders
By Paul Brady
Danzig very seldom comes to the U.K and when he does its normally just a one off show in London to promote a new album. Tonight Danzig were playing Manchester Academy in support of the 25th anniversary of the release of their début self titled album. I say 'their' album, but Glenn Danzig is the only original member left in the band. Danzig, along with the man himself is backed up by guitarist Tommy Victor, whom some of you may know as the front man from 80's/90's industrialists Prong. Johnny Kelly (ex Type O Negative) on drums and Steve Zing (ex Samhain) on bass.
I arrived to the venue a little late so I couldn't catch much of the support band Black Spiders, but judging by the amount of people who were stood in the street and at the bar, I got the feeling many people didn't really care about support bands. Once the band left the stage there was a pretty lengthy wait before Danzig showed a hint of coming on stage but eventually the lights went down and the intro music blasted through the venue. There was a certain aura in the air from the crowd tonight,whether it was because of the lack of shows Danzig does in the UK or maybe people just knew they was in for a cracking set tonight.
The band opened with Skincrawler from the 2004 album Circle of snakes, a strange opening song in my opinion as I wouldn’t call it one of his most popular songs nor one of his best but in a live setting the song really went down well, with the band sounding a lot heavier than they do on record. During the opener there seemed to be a couple of sound issues; the vocals weren’t quite loud enough and there was some deafening feedback coming from Victor. All the issues seemed to have cleared up by the time the band moved onto playing Hammer of the Gods from Danzig's last album Deth Red Sabaoth. The crowd were already on fire by this time, singing along with the chorus, at times louder than the band itself.
'That's enough new stuff, onto the old' said Danzig, and lets face it - that was we were all here. Twist of Cain and Am I Demon from Danzig's first album were next up and both crowd and band stepped it up a level. The sheer energy that Glenn Danzig gives off for a guy of his age (57) is unbelievable! He's jumping around and flexing like any new band on the scene, but in a much cooler way. At times he's perhaps a little too energetic and misses parts of words, but no one at the gig is bothered about little things like that, Danzig is on fire! Am I Demon ends where Her Black Wings begins from the classic Danzig II, this was clearly one of the more popular songs of the night, again the crowd did not disappoint with reaction and Danzig was clearly feeding from it. The next 4 songs alone were reason enough for me to come to the show.
Devils Plaything but without the slow intro which is on the record fit in perfectly to the set without slowing down the tempo at all. Danzig announced he hasn’t played the next song for quite some time, that song being Blood & Tears. Danzigs voice was at his finest during, with its almost 50's rock 'n' roll ballad feel - the song was nothing short of perfect. Dirty Black Summer from Danzig III was next up, one of Danzigs more popular songs and its clear why - big riffs and an easy sing along song for the crowd to sink their teeth into. Highlight of the night for me was How the Gods Kill, asking the audience to sing along with the tune of the song during the slower parts, the song then burst into action with Danzig again never staying still. This for me was definitely 'one of them moments'!
We were then introduced to Misfits guitarist Doyle as a special guest to play along on a few Misfits songs. Not being a huge Misfits fan, I quickly nipped off to get another drink, by this point I could probably have listened to an entire Misfits album. Upon returning I noticed how most of the punks in the crowd had made their way to the front and things had gotten even more active. The band along with Doyle played along with the rest of the band on such Misfits songs as Death Comes Ripping, Vampira, I turned into a Martian, Astro zombies, Skulls and lastly the ever popular Last Caress, which of course was made even more famous by Metallica. The addition of the Misfits songs was a nice touch and it was great to see a good mix of punks and metal heads getting into all the songs on offer. The band along with Doyle left the stage to a mammoth of applause to shortly return to the stage with the songs Soul on fire and Danzigs most popular tune Mother, again from his début album. The crowd participation again was the key feature to this song.
The band again left the stage and came back for one last time. This time with the song She Rides, after the song Glenn Danzigs reputation of being a bit of a rock star kicked in. Someone in the crowd seemed to have been filming the gig and Danzig eventually cottoned on to this and went into a rage, threatening the guy in a way to stop his filming. Having heard all sorts of stories about Glenn Danzig in the past, this didn’t surprise me at all, in fact I would have been a little disappointed if he didn’t go into a rockstar strop! How serious these little outbursts are is anyone's guess, maybe he just likes to show everyone he's the man - because after a set like this, who can argue with him? The set ended with the Misfits classic Die Die My Darling, again with Doyle in tow. After the set Danzig threw up the horns and walked off stage leaving his band members to interact with the crowd. This was simply an amazing set from one of the greatest front men in metal and punk, and one which I hope could trigger more UK dates in the future. Awesome stuff from start to finish. Come back soon Glenn!