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The Misfits And She-Demons At the Roxy, Sunday November 15th 2015

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Misfits

 

Sunday night was my first Misfits experience, but looking around me, I think I may have been the only one in this case, almost everyone was wearing a Misfits shirt, or at list some skeleton-accessorized black outfit, everyone seemed super enthusiastic to be there, as if they were attending a happy family gathering? It certainly looked like an all-age show, I spotted two small kids in the crowd, they were not even 7, and one of them got to see the show front row, while I saw the other one on the shoulders of his father, who was more or less moshing….

When Jerry Only came to meet his fans because of a power outage inside the Roxy delayed the show, he was received like the master of ceremony, or the patriarch of the place. I was the outsider, easily spotted by my light-kaki jacket among all this black… it could not have been worse than the day I saw Black Flag while wearing in a pink tank top.

Although it was a very mixed male-female crowd, the opening all-female band She-Demons looked like the perfect bait for the male eye: five hot babes in rock n’ roll high gears, squeezed in leather pants with strap and nails, shaking their long manes on their platform boots… Were these metal hair princesses even real? They played a mix of hard rock and metal with big effects, sexy rock moves and calculated poses, but they were in fact some good-looking pussycats, just singing a tougher version of ‘Be my Baby’… They were young, but I almost had a flash back from the Sunset Strip’s good old days, when 80’s crowds were filling the Roxy and Whisky a Go Go for Guns N’ Roses. Everything was there, the badass attitude and the loudness, the guitar solos and the over the top energy, but I would lie to say I totally bought She-Demons’ rock n’ roll game, they were entertaining in a Xena Warrior princess kind of way. The band was formed by Jerry Only, which can explain their very studied outfits and their Axl-Rose-Slash moves and screams, but these cartoonish rock goddesses nevertheless covered the Ramones’ ‘Strength to Endure’.

As soon as they set up the Misfits’ stage, I knew why there were these little kids around: the set looked like an attraction at Universal Studios and the crew was giving Misfits action figures (at least to the kid front row) as if they were the Santa Claus of horror. There’s a lot to entertain you at a Misfits show, the stage looked like King Kong’s island and their songs are all Halloween-horror-mythology with lots of skulls, bones, vampires, mommies, devils, zombies, brain eaters, and other bloodfeast… at least this is what I read on the setlist because it was near impossible to decipher the vocals or anything else by the way, they were so loud that I may have permanent hearing damage after this show! It’s my fault, I always want to be near the stage to see better, but honestly the sound was overwhelming and what was reaching my eardrums, behind the earplugs, was a sort of mushy sound. And that was a shame because I could sometimes perceive some Ramones-que ooo-ooos which were simply drowning in an inaudible and loud mud. ‘Saturday Night’ got almost melodious if you could pass the loudness, and the videos below will barely give you an idea of the decibel level,.. my ears are still ringing. Jerry and his son Jerry Jr. were mechanically moving from one mic to another with ultra fast strumming guitar and bass, producing a trash sound effect often more heavy metal than hardcore. Parris Mayhew, ex-guitarist of Cro-Mags, joined them for a song mid set, and Jerry Only introduced the album ‘Earth AD’ as music which gave rise to bands like Metallica and Slayer,… and it was effectively music to annihilate everything beyond any melody.

The set list was really impressive, I counted 35 songs, and they played the entire ‘Walk Among Us’ and ‘Earth AD’ albums. At this point I should have moved in the back to get a better idea of their vocal harmonies and overall sound, but it was difficult, as the club seemed to be packed and people in the middle were moshing and pushing.

Now, contrarily to all these people around me, who were all wearing Misfits tee-shirts – damn, Angelenos do wear these skull shirts – I knew close to nothing about the band and its long history of fights and lawsuits, but Only’s last recent lineup of the band (with Jerry’s son on guitar and vocals and Eric Arce on drums) has probably little to do with its previous incarnations… there are no Danzig’s antics, there’s no Doyle, and I can imagine Misfits purists dismissing this new lineup… However, this didn’t bother anybody around me, all the women and men were fists in the air, singing all the lyrics that I could barely decipher.

It was a weird experience, while my eardrums were slowly destroyed by a bunch of kitschy weirdos wearing more accessories – skeleton pants, spiked vest and kneepads included – than an entire Halloween parade, the packed-up crowd seemed to be having a really great time… A Misfits gig is over the top, the sonic level is unbelievable, it’s a show to pump you up out of your mind and ears, it’s a show to jackhammer your brain and you can’t ignore the fact that people around you may only be nostalgic of a past long gone? Wait, the Misfits are a legend, probably one of the most important punk bands ever, right? May be I should shut up.

She Demons setlist
Fresh Blood
Be My Baby
I Thirst
She Demon
He’s A Rebel
Huntress
Halfway To Hell
Once Bitten
B-Movie
Strength To Endure (Ramones cover)
Be Still My Heart

Misfits Setlist:
01. 20 Eyes
02. I Turned Into A Martian
03. All Hell Breaks Loose
04. Vampira
05. Nike A-Go-Go
06. Hate Breeders
07. Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?
08. Night Of The Living Dead
09. Skulls 10. Violent World
11. Devils Whorehouse
12. Astro Zombies
13. Braineaters
14. Kong At The Gates
15. Forbidden Zone
16. Walk Among Us
17. Crawling Eye
18. Hunting Humans
19. Who Killed Marilyn?
20. Dig Up Her Bones
21. Scream
22. Saturday Night
23. Descending Angel
24. Earth A.D.
25. Queen Wasp 26. Devilock
27. Death Comes Ripping
28. Green Hell
29. Wolf’s Blood
30. Demonomania
31. Bloodfeast
32. Hellhound
33. Die, Die My Darling
34. We Bite
35. We Are 138



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