DANZIG – A DIRTY BLACK OCTOBER
Show Date: October 26, 2008
Location: St.Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Venue: The Pageant
Reviewer: Graham LaMontagne
Band Website: www.danzig-verotik.com
This past summer I attended Cruefest in St. Louis, and while Papa Roach unimpressed me with their set I became lost in my thoughts. I remember saying to myself, “I sure wish I could see Danzig someday.” The next day I checked my homepage (www.pollstar.com), like I do everyday, to see the new concert listings. To my surprise, The Blackest of the Black Tour featuring Danzig, Dimmu Borgir, Moonspell and Skeleton Witch had just been announced. When I saw there was a St. Louis date at The Pageant, I interpreted this as an omen sent from the Metal Gods just for me and assembled the troops for yet another concert.
It is a good thing the Danzig concert was on a Sunday night when malls close early because I am rather certain that every Hot Topic employee in a 300-mile radius was packed inside The Pageant on October 26. Danzig‘s brooding bellow sounds like the evil incarnate of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison mixed together. That unmatchable voice appeals to both the Metal community and Goth community, and together we united as one for an evening with Danzig.
Before we were treated to the headliner, we were forced to endure three Death Metal bands. I purposely arrived late hoping to miss most of the opening bands, but unfortunately only wound up missing Skeleton Witch. The end of Moonspell‘s set was forgettable, but not nearly as awful as Norwegian band Dimmu Borgir. Since I am not a fan of Death Metal (a metal genre I do not think I will ever understand), Dimmu Borgir‘s performance was quite intolerable. Their stage show looked like the pagan party Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd attend in the 80’s comedy Dragnet. However, the sense of humor was missing and at times I was actually fearful a virgin might be sacrificed.
However, at 10:20 pm Danzig took over and the real show was underway. Danzig opened with ‘Skin Carver’ and then superbly segued into ‘Twist Of Cain’, breathing a much needed fury into the crowd. That simple yet rocking riff on ‘Twist Of Cain’ was a pleasant payoff for sitting through two hours of torturous Death Metal. One fan was so fired up he leaped from a table into the pit area, kicked someone in the head on the way down and after an un-Olympic style landing, appeared to have instantly broken both legs. Security showed him no mercy and quickly grabbed him and tried to stand him upright, but his new noodle like legs offered no support and he went right back down. This occurred about two more times before the victim of his own stupidity was dragged out of the pit area. It’s unfortunate the gentleman was forced to make an early departure because Danzig was just getting started.
Danzig rewarded the crowd with classics from each of his solo albums – no Misfits or Samhain material was played. ‘Her Black Wings’, ‘Left Hand Black’, ‘Devil’s Plaything’, ‘Killer Wolf’, ‘Am I Demon’ and ‘Mother’ (of course) made the crowd berserk as they worshipped their iconic underground hero. The highlights of the show were ‘Twist Of Cain’, the haunting ‘How The Gods Kill’ and the song that introduced me to Danzig, ‘Dirty Black Summer’. Apparently I overreacted when the band began executing those first few notes of the second encore (‘Dirty Black Summer’), but I was growing worried they were not going to play my favorite. A friend of mine said I looked like a prepubescent girl at a Jonas Brother‘s concert during the song, but I guess that is just what happens when the music overpowers you. Despite Danzig‘s age (53) he still looked like a lean mean ripped machine as he frantically enlivened the crowd, and his voice showed absolutely no signs of wear and tear.
Even though he represents himself as one sinister dude, Danzig sure looked like he was having a ton of fun onstage. That evil image is actually one of the reasons I never took an interest in Danzig until just a few years ago. However, when I took time to actually listen to the man, rather than purely making a snap judgment, I was blown away by what I heard. So, the moral of the story is always keep an open mind or you might miss out on making a Danzig like discovery in you own life.