I immediately noticed two things behind the Black Stage, one trailer marked “Band” and one trailer marked “Danzig”…. a preview of how the night was going to go.
I walked up to the backstage area of the Black Stage last night about a half hour before Danzig was supposed to go on and was unexpectedly rejected by the door guy who had seen me go in and out about a dozen times already throughout the day.
Door Dude – “Nope sorry, no media.”
Me – “Uhh, what’s up? Too many people? What’s going on?”
Door Dude – “Sorry, Danzig’s orders.”
He actually said that. It’s a really cool conversation to have but also totally ridiculous…but again this is Danzig – it’s expected.
A few friends and I waited throughout Murder City Devil’s set (which was in all honesty way better than Danzig’s. They were fantastic, well practiced and tight.) in front of the Danzig side of the stage for what seemed like hours. We watched the stage crew set up tarp’s on the side scaffolding, which I assume was so people couldn’t take photos (the bouncers in front of the stage spent all their time either body blocking or flashlighting peoples cameras so they couldn’t take photos of Danzig (turns out it was because Glenn was cold. COLD.)) and then they wheeled out one of those gigantic patio heaters like you see at Chili’s, which added an even more ridiculous vibe to his set considering the amount of black leather this dude is forever clad in.
Finally after, I’m guessing an 45 minutes to an hour after he was supposed to start he came out.
The crowd went nuts, totally and completely nuts, and I was immediately pushed to the side but I had a great spot so I didn’t mind.
He played tracks from his new album (why? I’ll never know.), Danzig hits, Samhain tracks…it all sounded pretty good (perhaps ok-ish*) but nothing to write home about. If it wasn’t the Zig, no one would have cared but it’s the man himself and it was a lot of fun to actually see him play after listening to him for all these years, and that was the general vibe amongst the extremely enthusiastic crowd.
After some Samhain tracks, the band left the stage for a minute and Doyle walked out with them to play some Misfits songs – the real reason everyone was there.
After I think 2 tracks, he informs the crowd that they have been told by the festival honchos that there is only 5 minutes left. After a lot of hub-bub they cut the power to his equipment.
This did not go over well with anyone.
The random shouting soon turned into a chant of “RIOT!” which Danzig started aggressively encouraging… and then the trash started flying at the stage.This was exasperated by the fact that Danzig hasn’t played Misfits songs in a long time and there are only four of these gigs with this line up that are happening across the country.
If you wanted to see this gig, this was probably your only chance.
People were angry that he didn’t get on stage on time, people were angry that they payed for a show that they only got to see a short portion of, people were mad at the organizers for not letting Glenn do whatever the hell he wanted. The crowd was starting to turn and I really thought that a riot was going to take place.
There was some commotion next to me that in the melee, I thought was either one of two things - a random fist fight or some crust punks were going for the scaffolding – I couldn’t tell what it was because it was chaotic as hell but for the purposes of concert myth… crust punks were trying to tear the stage down.
Anyways, after many bottles and cans had been flung about a dozen cops showed up out of nowhere and started to move everyone out.
The crowd was angry, very angry. A girl next to me actually said, “I paid for this, I’m disappointed and now I gotta go sleep in my car.”
She came down to watch Danzig play Samhain but really, play Misfits tracks with original members just like everyone else and instead of going away in awe people left disappointed.
Disappointment – the worst outcome for a concert.
Was it cool to see Danzig, even for a little bit?
Was I surprised that he screwed it up with his over the top prima donna bullshit?
This is Danzig, if you’re a fan you know what to expect and unfortunately it’s almost always eye rollingly unbelievable - and not in a good way.
It was a memorable experience, unfortunately not a memorable set of music.
But this is Danzig, he’s like a car crash that you sign up for and ride over and over again like an amusement park ride.
Honestly, it was pretty cool.
Author with the now infamous “Danzig Patio Heater”
*REALLY, REALLY BAD.