May 17, 2011

Danzig / Devildriver - Bourbon Street

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

DEVILDRIVER / 2 CENTS / DANZIG

May 17, 2011

Baltimore, MD

www.rocknrollexperience.com

I'll admit that I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Glenn Danzig had scheduled a show for the Baltimore area after the legendary plummet he took off the stage at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore a few years back and the billing was actually a solid line up that included 2 Cents & Devildriver.

The past few times I've seen Danzig the opening acts were "iffy" at best & I usually ended up bored while watching bland metal bands but this billing was solid & when doors opened at 7 PM my first thought was, "I wonder if the club will sell semi decent?" because when 2 Cents took the stage the club was far from packed & directly across the street at another club The Deftones were playing a sold out 2 night stand.

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Logistically the parking situation was a bitch because you had 2 big rock shows happening in the same area, literally, and if you got there early you could snag a decent parking space with no problem!

2 Cents were an entertaining opener because the bands singer Adam is a crazy frontman who's haircut matches his personallity!

Adam's onstage rants are amusing as well...at one point he demanded the crowd to show some love for the metal & to STOP standing there like it was a f**king Dashboard Confessional show!

The members of 2 Cents are diehard metal freaks & they made it a point to praise their idols...Slayer, Pantera & Danzig!

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2 Cents have evolved a fair amount over the years....Adam started out playing drums & singing and there was originally a different bassist...these days the band features Adam as lead singer and they added a full time drummer, a new 2nd guitarist & a keyboard/sampler guy...the bands sound is full & they played a set that was mostly newer songs. The bands closer of the night was a cover of "Strength Beyond Strength" by Pantera.

2 Cents actually got the crowd moving & you could practically see the club getting filled in really tight by the time Devildriver were about to go on!

The lights dropped, there was a small amount of fog covering the stage & Dez Fafara, sporting a Bauhaus "Bela Legosi's Dead" shirt alongside his army of metal monsters in Devildriver took the Bourbon Street stage to a death rattle flurry...this was the point of the show where the pit action was bordering on brutal....Devildriver's set had started!

Dez is 45 years old yet he doesn't look nor act it; he screams his ass off all night during the Devildriver set...there's NO ballads, NO slow points in the set just pure aggression & angry, angry energy!

Aaron Patrick is the bands current touring bassist & he adds a different sorta energy to the live show...he doesn't seem to come from a pure metal background & for me personally I could tell just a small difference with Aaron in the band...it was a pleasant change in all honesty!

I won't bother listing the set list because the band made a few onstage changes in the set and what was listed on the stage was not what was played...they mixed it up pretty well between all their albums!

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Jeff & Mike mix up their riffs pretty well & split up the guitar leads pretty well but I'm not going to lie, Dez owns the stage when he's up there & Devildriver's stage show is primarily focused on Dez!

Dez was actually wearing shoes at this show & I remember joking with him one night because he used to always play shows barefoot & I always thought it was kinda dangerous to walk about being barefoot at an extreme metal show, I mean hippie jam bands can do it & it's fine but with metal bands it's not something you see too often, not to mention Dez's feet always looked soooo dirty!

Again, I will state for the record that Devildrivers set featured the most energy in terms of pit action!

On a side note, NO camera's were allowed into the venue, the security were given strict orders by Glenn Danzig that if anyone pulled out a cell phone, camera, etc. during Danzig's set that they were to be kicked out immediately!

I was one of 3 people granted access to photograph Devildriver & as it would turn out I was the ONLY person who showed up to photograph Devildriver so my pics are extremely exclusive & the only photo's taken of the band on this night!

Danzig's band consisted of Tommy Victor, Steve Zing & Johnny K. formerly of Type O Negative & since Glenn was being so strict in regards to taking pics I wasn't allowed to take any pics during the Danzig set...set wise the band played everything in the same order as they have this entire tour up until the encore which consisted of "Dirty Black Summer" & "Am I Demon" and the last song was interesting because Glenn asked a random guy in the balcony what song he wanted to hear because he was willing to play anything he requested & Glenn started calling out songs for him to choose from & when the guy didn't name one they just went with "Am I Demon" as the closer!

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"Snakes of Christ" sounded killer but obvious hits "How The Gods Kill", "Twist of Cain" & "Mother" were the songs that brought about the biggest crowd reaction!

Tommy's solos were sloppy as hell in many spots & as much as I love his work in Prong I felt like his playing on this night could have been alot tighter than it actually was & Johnny on drums is a decent fit but to be honest with you Johnny is almost invisible behind the kit because when you see a Danzig show you ONLY focus on Glenn with minimal attention being given to Steve & Tommy only because they share the front with Glenn!

Glenn had a mini lift in the center of the stage that looked like it could have been taken from the He-Man universe & on both sides of the small stage there were Danzig skulls with octopus like tentacles & the club was too small to hang the entire Danzig Skull banner so they had to fold the banner in various parts to make it fit & the backdrop was the Danzig skull banner folded down in order to fit the clubs limited space...honestly the folded up Danzig banner looked cheesy as hell but the band made it all work & afterwards Steve came out & met fans while Glenn ran to his bus but did his personal security guy did bring items on the bus for Glenn to sign & I saw some guys getting dozens & dozens o' things signed which will probably end up on ebay.

Energy wise Devildriver ruled the pit but show wise Danzig is the king of punk rock & this was clearly a Danzig crowd & Danzig show!