DANZIG / KYNG / MONSTRO
June 4, 2012
Silver Spring, MD
DANZIG set list: SkinCarver, Twist of Cain, Hammer of the Gods, Rebel Spirits, Her Black Wings, Devil's Plaything, How the Gods Kill, Dirty Black Summer, (DOYLE joined the band for Misfits covers) Death Comes Ripping, Vampira, Bullet, I Turned Into a Martian, Halloween, Astro Zombies, Last Caress, Encore: Bringer of Death, It's Coming Down, Mother, Encore 2: Long Way Back From Hell, Skulls (with Doyle)
I’ll preface this review by stating that Glenn Danzig asked that NO photos be taken of him during his live performance and while part of me felt like being a bad ass & snapping a photo just because he said not to I decided to play by the rules and do as requested. Once Glenn left the stage it was ok to take pics of John, Tommy & Steve so the pics in this review are “officially” approved because Kyng gave me photo access & the Danzig backing band were fine with photos being taken.
The show started off with Monstro opening and this was the last night for Monstro on this short string of dates. Musically I was impressed with the tempo changes & different directions the band went in because some songs were stoner rock while others had a more metal style and no 2 songs were identical. The saddest part of the Monstro set was the limited sound because no matter where you stood in the venue the overall sound was muddy and I think the band could have sounded a million times better if the vocals were pushed up a bit louder in the mix and the guitars were a little cleaner. You could barely hear the guitar leads & I found myself wandering from side to side to see if maybe there was a clearer sound in some parts of the venue....overall the left side sounded a bit clearer than the right side but it was still a case of the opening band receiving a crappy sound mix!
Monstro’s drummer Bevan Davies is an animal when he plays those drums & during Danzig’s set Glenn brought Bevan onstage & thanked Monstro for opening the tour. Glenn gave Bevan a hug since it was Monstro’s last night on the tour and joked that he would be calling Bevan to drum again for him because current drummer Johnny Kelly would be in rehab soon for drinking too much!
During the Monstro set Kyng lead singer/guitarist Eddie Velez joined the band on backing vocals & adding Eddie to the mix really made Monstro’s vocals sound powerful. The crowd response to Monstro was so/so...there were no boo’s or jeers because the crowd was just simply standing still with no concern for Monstro and that’s always an issue for ANY band that opens for Danzig!
Cali rockers Kyng were up next and Kyng are a kick ass 3 piece band that impressed me with their musicianship, strong vocals, and the passion they put into their music was amazing! Eddie’s voice is up there with Chris Cornell and his guitar playing impressed me when I saw him tear it up onstage. On the bands debut record “Trampled Sun” the guitar playing sounds great BUT when you see the band onstage you realize what great players they are & the singing is what sets Kyng apart from every other hard rock act out there...Eddie’s got this amazing voice and bassist Tony C. handles all the back up vocals in a style that reminds me of how Ted Nugent & Derek St. Holmes did it on “Stangehold”...the 2 of them have this great dynamic together and their voices work perfectly together!
“I Don’t Believe” sounded tight & “Falling Down” was the one that most people in the crowd knew thanks to local radio playing it frequently but for me personally “Trails in Vein” was the song that really impressed me because it has some amazing depth to it and Eddie commented towards the end of the set that this crowd was the best of the tour for Kyng because “most of the Danzig crowd on this tour were dicks to Kyng!”
What I will say about Kyng is, it was very refreshing to see a band get onstage and play live with NO backing tracks, NO pre-recorded crap and NO heavy production.... it was like stepping back in time to an era when there was nothing more than musicians on stage playing LIVE music. In 2012 it was cool to see a band bring it live like that!
The stage for Kyng was easy to clear because the band had minimal gear; a bass rig, a small guitar rig & a drum set. Once Kyng’s gear was cleared the large covers were removed from the props onstage and the large skulls, etc. for Danzig’s stage show were revealed. The backdrop was the classic Danzig skull & on both sides of the skull were some new additional illustrations.
The time between Kyng’s set ending & Danzig’s set starting was around an hour & when the lights dropped & the Danzig intro started you could feel the surge of energy in the building; Evil Elvis was about to take the stage!
The backing band came out and started the music of “Skin Carver” so Glenn could took the stage in a grand fashion. Glenn came out looking pissed off and within a few lines of the song he had a reason to be pissed because his mic kept feeding back. Glenn he went to the sound guy to yell numerous times and once the song was finished Glenn went over to bitch at the sound guy extensively and you could hear pieces of it up until Glenn threw his mic down and then at that point all you could do was read his lips & see many f-bombs being dropped. Glenn took the front of the stage to address the matter by stating we were lucky he was performing tonight because he was not feeling well and that at every show there’s always some asshole sound guy who makes the band look like shit! Glenn said the sound guy was a f**king asshole for doing that & it’s interesting to point out that the feedback issues were NEVER fixed because at any given time Glenn’s mic would feedback badly and the monitor levels were never fixed right. Steve & Tommy seemed to laugh off Glenn’s behavior as if they expected it and then there was another small issue with a fan on Steve’s side of the stage. Steve had a fan in front of him that was cooling him down but when Glenn walked to that side of the stage he demanded a roadie remove the fan and I can only assume it’s because he didn’t want his hair to blow?
Another embarrassing moment in the set came during a song that’s bad luck for Glenn when he plays it in Maryland!
“How The Gods Kill” was the song Glenn performed when he fell off stage at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore and when he performed the same song this night at The Fillmore Tommy started the song after Johnny counted it down on drums. The tempo was a tad faster than what Glenn wanted & right before the vocals were to kickin Glenn went back to Johnny & told him to “SLOW DOWN!” & that in turn made Tommy change his playing pace. They lengthened the instrumental intro for “How the Gods Kill” before Glenn would start his vocals at a slower pace.
When Glenn brought out Doyle the crowd went insane and that was when the mosh pit started. The Misfits covers were short, fast and to the point and if you went to the bathroom you could have easily missed most of the Misfits set because they plowed through several songs within maybe 10 minutes or so and “Last Caress” was the one I had a laugh at because Doyle was f**king with Glenn during the song. “Last Caress” starts with Glenn singing on cue from Doyle’s guitar & Doyle would start playing before Glenn was ready & when Glenn was ready Doyle didn’t play...they did that back & forth for a minute and it made Glenn actually come off as a person because throughout most of the set he came off angry & pissed off. Infact, before “Dirty Black Summer” Glenn commented that he hoped his voice didn’t blow out before he finished the song so he could bring Doyle up and that matter was an issue throughout the night. Glenn had a cold or some sort of illness which was straining his voice and making him cough & spit most of the night. What I did find quite disgusting was the fact that Glenn was sick, yet he’d take a sip off a bottle of water and then hand it to the people up front to drink off of.....Glenn was basically giving the poor people who drank off his water bottle his sickness!
The first encore of the night featured a 3 song Danzig solo material set and it started with Tommy Victor coming out alone & jamming a bit before jaunting into “Bringer of Death” which was followed by “It’s Coming Down”. What surprised me about “It’s Coming Down” was the fact that during the first chorus the band did not sing the backing vocals which make the chorus what it is...the backing vocals didn’t start till the 2nd part of the song & without the backing vocals during the chorus the song sounds empty!
“Mother” was the closer for the first encore and it brought the house down...that could have been the end of the set but it wasn’t because there was one more encore to come and for that Glenn came out & asked the crowd what they wanted to hear? Glenn started saying songs...”She Rides”, “Long Way Back from Hell” or another song? Then Tommy started the opening chords to “Long Way...” and I’ll admit that was one of the highlights to the set because I haven't seen them do that one in a while and it sounded GREAT!
“Skulls” was the closer of the night & it featured Doyle on guitar! The 2nd encore was actually a cool way to wrap the show because they gave us one Danzig solo song & one Misfits song.
All in all this was a fun show because the crowd was into it. Glenn and the band gave a strong performance despite some sound issues and when “Skulls” was finished Tommy, Steve, & Johnny came back out and tossed guitar picks, drum sticks, & set lists to the crowd. Johnny pulled out a sharpie and all 3 members of the Danzig backing band signed the drum head he was holding and then he tossed it into the crowd.
To close on a funny note, at the merch booth they were selling underwear that said “Devil’s Plaything” which was quite funny when you think about it.