Oct 19, 2019

The Misfits - Madison Square Garden

By Bob Suehs

THE ORIGINAL MISFITS / RANCID / THE DAMNED

10/19/19

Madison Square Garden

New York, New York

The Damned Set List:  Love Song, Machine Gun Etiquette, I Just Can’t Be Happy Today, Anti-Pope, Disco Man, Looking at You (MC5 cover), Smash It Up, Ignite, New Rose, Neat Neat Neat

 Rancid Set List:  Roots Radical, Radio, Journey To The End Of The East Bay, Maxwell Murder, The 11th Hour, Last One To Die, East Bay Night, Dead Bodies, Ghost of a Chance, Old Friend, Where I’m Going, Something In The World Today, Rejected, Olympia WA, It’s Quite Alright, Fall Back Down, Time Bomb, Ruby Soho 

 The Misfits Set List:  Death Comes Ripping, I Turned Into a Martian, 20 Eyes, Vampira, Where Eagles Dare, Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?, Hybrid Moments, Teenagers From Mars, Children in Heat, London Dungeon, Earth AD, Green Hell, Devilock, Some Kinda Hate, Who Killed Marilyn, Hollywood Babylon, Horror Business, All Hell Breaks Loose, Astro Zombies, Violent World, Halloween, Skulls, Last Caress, ENCORE:  Die Die My Darling, Night of the Living Dead, Bullet, We Are 138

 

 When Jerry Only took the stage he used a guitar pick to bang on his bass strings; the pick was hurled into the crowd in under 5 seconds and “Death Comes Ripping” started the homecoming show for this version of The Misfits in a destructive fashion.

 24 hours prior Jerry walked by me at the Glenn Danzig “Verotika” movie screening singing “All The Way To Memphis” by Ian Hunter, this was such a stark contrast to the organized chaos that was the last Misfits show at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City!

 The venue offered fans early merch sales at 12 noon; fans lined up to purchase limited edition show only shirts and posters all of which totally sold out before The Misfits took the stage.

 Fans began lining up at 9 AM and the first 50 fans received a numbered wrist band which allowed them early access and a guaranteed close spot in the pit.  

 

Walking around the circular building that is Madison Square Garden, prior to doors opening I saw Faster Pussycat guitarist Ace Von Johnson and Lars from Rancid amongst the fans outside. The weather was perfect and ideal considering the long wait to get inside.   Once doors opened it was about an hour wait before The Damned took the stage.

 

 Prior to The Damned’s set the venue filled in slowly and the large LED video wall behind the stage randomly flashed band logos from The Distillers and Cro Mags before settling on The Damned’s logo.

 

 You could tell that a large portion of the crowd did not know who The Damned were up until “New Rose” was performed.  “New Rose” was covered by Guns N Roses in 1993 and released on “The Spaghetti Incident” record.  The Damned did a decent job of warming the crowd up but when Rancid took the stage the venue went into overdrive.

 

 The Ramones greatest hits played between sets and the only time The Ramones were not played was just before Rancid’s set.  Rancid chose moody reggae to set their stage vibe and their show started very simple:  Lars out with no intro and screamed, “Took The 60 Bus Out of Downtown Campbell” and went directly into “Roots Radical”.

 

 Lars wore a beanie cap for the first half of their set and his bleached out jeans complimented his Doc Marten Skinhead shirt.  Tim Armstrong was once asked how he would describe his beard and he said it was a straight up “Hillbilly Beard”.  Rancid delivered a strong set and Lars jokingly said that they would be back at some point but that they would definitely not be at Madison Square Garden the next go round.

 

 Lars closed the Rancid set by telling the crowd that he was looking forward to the Madison Square Garden show not because of the rock bands that had played there but because of the wrestling matches that had happened there.  Lars referenced Jimmy Superfly Snuka and went into “Ruby Soho” which closed the Rancid set.  

Rancid sold limited edition Madison Square Garden tour shirts and posters which totally sold out before the nights end.

 The stage was cleared and two large menacing pumpkins adorned the left and right sides of the stage while amps with the Misfits “Fiend” filled the entire back of the stage.  A large LED video wall featured art, classic images, and scenery which complimented each song perfectly.

 Glenn Danzig never allows cameras at his concerts but for this show The Misfits allowed media access and the entire venue was filled with cell phones recording the entire concert.  Glenn was in good spirits, smiling, joking, and clearly enjoyed every moment of this last concert from The Misfits.

 Glenn’s fingernails were interestingly long and there was a small hole in the back of his shirt;  Glenn appeared thinner than usual and looked healthy.  

 Doyle’s guitar tone was trashy, as usual, and onstage second guitarist Acey Slade held the band together alongside former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.  During “Hollywood Babylon” it appeared as if Glenn was telling Acey to play his guitar parts differently which came off slightly awkward onstage.

 Jerry Only slid across the stage, smashed numerous basses, and towards the end of the night gave a new bass to a female fan in a wheelchair.  After Jerry gave the fan his bass Glenn commented that it was a sweet gesture and that Jerry was a truly nice guy.

 When the show ended the house lights went on and roadies tossed out the three huge onstage (around 2 feet tall) set lists which were awesome souvenirs for 3 fans.

 Jerry changed his vests throughout the night and each one featured a hand written “Madison Square Garden 10/19/19” along with Jerry’s autograph inside the collar.  There was also an interesting “Misfits” corvette which was parked near the backstage exit of Madison Square Garden.  

 All in all, if this truly was the last Misfits concert to feature this line up of the band they clearly went out on top and gave their all.  This show was supposedly their last show but it was later announced that there would be a show in Philadelphia on 12/14/19.