Danzig hits the House of Blues

A review of Danzig at the House of Blues on June 21, 2010

, Contributing Writer

On the eve of the release of his ninth solo album, Deth Red Sabaoth, Glenn Danzig hit the House of Blues in Boston on Monday night and delivered a strong show that would have been better if it were not for a poor mix.

Danzig’s career as a solo artist has been almost as successful as his career as the frontman for one of the biggest punk bands in history, The Misfits. This was a metal show, and a Danzig show, and despite the fact that Doyle, guitarist for The Misfits was present with his band, openers’ Gorgeous Frankenstein, there were no Misfits songs and no Doyle guest spots. When a few fans shouted the lyrics to “We are 138,” Danzig laughed and replied, “I think you need more to drink”. 

Instead Danzig, the band and the man, blasted through an hour of material, culled from throughout Danzig’s career, but oddly focusing on 1992’s Danzig III: How The Gods Kill. The band, in fact, as an entity and not just a support group, plays a very central role in the music. In the early years, Danzig’s husky and Elvis-as-darklord vocals were front-and-center, with much more presence and volume than any other instrument. Now, however, the band’s playing plays a much prominent role, and throughout the night, Danzig’s voice had to strain against the other instruments, especially against guitarist Tommy Victor’s blasting guitar, which was often louder than it needed to be, even drowning out the drums during certain stretches of the evening. On the hit “Mother” Danzig had to rely on the crowd shouting along with him to keep the lyrics above what is a relatively quiet song by Danzig standards, and on others, like another early hit “Twist of Cain” the vocals were indistinct and mostly drowned out.

On the later songs, where the guitar plays more of naturally prominent, including an increasing use of classic metal solos, the mix worked much better, and Danzig looked content to cede the stage to Victor’s trademark mix of wailing string bends and sludgy chugging chords. On “Bringer of Death” the guitar burst above everything else and dominated the song from beginning to end. Elsewhere, like on Danzig III cut, “Do You Where the Mark?” the guitar was a bit more subdued, but the biting and cutting riffs still occupied more space than Danzig’s vocals.

It was only on the slower songs, or the few songs with quiet beginnings that Danzig’s vocals really stood out. On his brand new single, “On a Wicked Night,” which takes more a classic rock balladry turn, Danzig was able to exert himself, but the song’s slower and subtle tones didn’t lead to an overpowering performance. Danzig seemed in good spirits throughout the night and although he did ask on a few occasions for the vocals to be turned up, he didn’t seem flustered by the mix. The band did deliver its share of powerful performances, including a scorching version fan favorite “Tired of Being Alive,” but at times they seemed like a group in the process of becoming a straightforward metal band.            

One Comment

  1. asolarz says:

    Free download of “On a Wicked Night” from his new album Deth Red Saboath!


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