At this point, my status as a Glenn Danzig maniac is far beyond well-documented. Between the Misfits, Samhain and Danzig, I’ve devoted more digital ink to the man’s music than to any other artist I’ve covered here at THKD. The last time I took stock of my music collection, the Evil Elvis dominated it with over twenty releases, not to mention all the t-shirts and other random paraphernalia I own. My one and only tattoo is based loosely on “Thirteen,” the song Danzig wrote for Johnny Cash (my favorite metal singer meets my favorite non metal singer). Cosmo Lee, the founder of Invisible Oranges, even based a post around my admission that I celebrate Danzig’s entire catalogue in my review of 2010′s excellent Deth Red Sabaoth.
And yet I had to wait an agonizing twenty motherfucking years to see Danzig in concert. Not for lack of trying, but every time he went on tour since my obsession began in 1993, I was too young or too broke or the show was too far away or the people I was going to go with flaked or the show got cancelled or Godzilla trampled the goddamn venue… seriously, it felt as if some unseen force was conspiring against me, determined to prevent me from experiencing my all-time favorite vocalist live. Given that the man is at this point no spring chicken, I had pretty much reserved myself to the fact that I would never, ever get to witness a Danzig show.
But finally, after all these years of fixating on the man and his music, the planets finally aligned for me in the form of the Danzig 25th Anniversary Tour. I bought tickets for the Minneapolis date the minute they went on sale, but I couldn’t bring myself to get excited. For over a month, I waited for something to happen that would prevent the show from happening or simply prevent me from going. I worried that if I thought too much about it or got too excited I would somehow jinx it, that the malicious invisible entity that had stopped me from seeing Danzig at every turn for two decades would rear its ugly head yet again. Trust me, I know how completely ridiculous that sounds, but I just couldn’t help myself, such is the warped nature of my anxiety. As the date drew closer, my wife said she was surprised by the fact that I didn’t seem very excited, and I told her that I’d be excited when Danzig walked on stage.
Fast-forward to the night of the show. The giant skull backdrop was raised, the lights dimmed, and the man himself came out from behind the black curtain, flanked by an all-star band consisting of Tommy Victor (Prong) on guitar, drummer Johnny Kelly (ex-Type O Negative) and bassist Steve Zing (ex-Samhain). They immediately launched into “Skin Carver”… and I totally lost my shit. I remember reading an article in one of the print metal rags several years back that talked about people crying during a Pentagram set at some festival and thinking it was totally absurd, but when Danzig started playing, I was that guy. No, I didn’t shed any actual tears, but I understood what it was like to be overcome with the pure, unadulterated joy those Bobby Liebling fanatics must have felt. I was thirteen years old again, hearing “Mother” and “Am I Demon” for the first time. The only other time I’ve smiled that much for that long was at my wedding.
If you haven’t already figured it out, Danzig delivered and then some. His legendary pipes sound just as good at fifty-eight as they did in his prime, and my expectations were met and exceeded. He played every song I wanted to hear, plus a few I wasn’t expecting. I’m not going to give you an in-depth review of the show, because this wasn’t something to be critiqued and analyzed as a journalist or blogger, this was something to be reveled in as a super-fan who waited over half his life to see his favorite fucking singer of all time. This was as personal as it gets. I will say this though; the icing on cake came when Danzig brought out Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and plowed through six classic Misfits tracks; the closest we’ll ever get to seeing a real Misfits reunion. It was at that moment that I went from giddy as a schoolgirl to full-on supernova apeshit.
After the show was over, I felt a sense of completeness; the missing piece of a twenty year cult of personality had finally fallen into place. I know all this gushing is going to seem like hyperbole at its most nauseatingly OTT to most readers, but I’ve never been anything less than 200% honest with you guys, and the truth is that even as jaded and curmudgeonly as I sometimes seem (ok, ok, most of the time), there are still things that can reduce me to a drooling, babbling, blubbering, half-crazed fanboy, and finally, FINALLY seeing Danzig live was definitely one of them. It’s a damn good feeling.
Postscript: A couple people have asked, so here’s the setlist from that night.
Hammer of the Gods
Twist of Cain
Am I Demon
Her Black Wings
Blood and Tears
Dirty Black Summer
Death Comes Ripping
I Turned Into a Martian
Soul on Fire
Do You Wear the Mark
Die, Die My Darling