Ladies and Gents, The Misfits!

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Considering how long ago and how much of a blur it all was, I’m not really sure that I ever saw The Misfits live in concert back during their heydays of the ‘80’s. Just in case and thanks to Mike at Gas Monkey Live – that was all about to change. I was never really a big fan, I thought their music was kind of cool and their whole “scene” was neat; however; my photographer buddy Paul was super-stoked to see them.First on the stage was Dog Company, a local political punk rock band formed back in the mid-2000s. Lead singer Joe Blow did a great job of commanding the stage and his vocals were fairly clear and concise. Garrett Chapman’s lead guitar lead the crowd through foot-stomping punk rock sounds, Shea Close’s bass was thumping to the beat all night long and drummer Mick was solid and proficient all set long!!! Hate to compare their sound to a few old bands but if I had to I would go with old Alarm (for the political side of things) and Social D (for the rocking side of things).

Missile had the middle set on this night and early on their sound seemed to be either missing something or just holding back a little. I’ve seen them once before so I knew they were capable of rocking out and they finally hit their groove about halfway through their stage time. Using the same formula for most of their songs (drum stick clacking 1-2-3 GO!!!!!) did nothing to mix things up but their straight up rock sound finally shined through with the song “Sign Up”. The Bender brothers; singer/bassist Aaron and guitarist Ariel worked nicely with drummer Clint Phillips to deliver their brand of punk rock.

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While waiting for The Misfits to come to the stage, I scanned the audience to take in all of the different characters: many fans wearing their old-school Misfits shirts, younger guys & girls sporting various articles of leather and the occasional older guy that I swear I recognized form the old Twilight Room days in Deep Ellum.  Their stage set had a drum riser made out of stone pillars with their familiar “Crimson Ghost” logo embossed into it and skeletons, skulls and bones hanging from each microphone stand. The crowd was not large (dang Wednesday night) but I was pretty sure they were all serious Misfits fans. With a little fog machine smoke, some eerie red lights and what sounded like the theme music to the horror movie classic “Halloween” – 55 year old lead singer Jerry Only and his band mates strolled out onto the stage. The small crowd went nuts and as soon as they ripped into their first song, “Halloween” = the bodies started flying in front of the stage!!! Drummer Eric “Chupacabra” Arce was trying to kill his snare drum and guitarist Dez Cadena stalked the stage looking like a walking zombie while tearing through all of his guitar lines. Along side Jerry Only and Dez Cadena was Jerry Caifafa II, Providing his own unique style of guitar shredding.

Ripping into basically a greatest hits set list, the Misfits screamed their way through hit after hit. “Astro Zombies”, “Feind Club” and “Scream” came across as a mix between something from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and theme songs from countless horror movies.  “Some Kinda Hate” and “Skulls” got the crowd body slamming again then the very short “Static Age” brought the band to a little break. Jerry Only referenced writing the next song, “She” when he was only seventeen years old and the crowd especially loved that one. “Death Comes Ripping” was given as a “shout out to the boys in the pit” and “Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight” led into “American Psycho”. A splitting headache and an early wake up call led this to be the final song of the night that I heard. Everything was great throughout their set, the musicianship, Jerry’s singing, the stage set & lights and the crowd’s affinity for all of it. I stood there in awe at the spectacle before me: a living legend and his band playing for some die hard fans. Not sure who was having more fun – the crowd or Jerry but can attest that everyone should have left the building feeling very satisfied.

 

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Photographs taken at Gas Monkey Live on November 19 of 2014 – The Misfits

Disclaimer: All photographs are copyright Paul Wilkins Photography and cannot be used/cropped/printed without the consent of the owner.
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