Saturday, May 19th, 2018 is incredibly memorable for being
the date of a royal wedding when The Misfits reunited! (Full disclosure: The version of Stand By Me at said wedding was remarkable and deserves to be noted.)
The original lineup of The Misfits, including Glenn Danzig, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and Jerry Only, reunited for their much anticipated, sold-out homecoming show The Misfits Ride Again and brought their classic blend of thrashing music and horror imagery to the stage for one night only.
The mood was set as soon as fans arrived at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey- relatively close to their home of Lodi, NJ. Unfortunately, the mood was polarized. The energy was high and it was awesome to see some particularly deadicated fans in full Fiend regalia with skull makeup and devilocks, along with the fans that had novelty shirts (one of my personal favorites would have to be a shirt featuring Hank Hill that read “I ain’t no gaddang son of a b***h!”), but as cell phones were locked away for the show, many people seemed confused on how to enjoy the show and became absolutely irked. It was an inconvenience to not have that access, but at the same time there were cell phone checking stations and it was really nice to get to see the whole show without a sea of phone screens blocking the way, so I personally support the decision.
This mix of “Yes! The original Misfits are BACK!” and minor issues being blown out of proportion followed through the whole show, even after the opening acts, including Murphy’s Law and Suicidal Tendencies, bled into our legendary headliners.
Death did come ripping in as they opened with Death Comes Ripping and the boys took the stage. An impressive aesthetic, with their football player muscles, hints of classic horror movies in both dress and scenery, and a bleeding backdrop announcing their arrival. The stage was flanked by two larger than life jack o’lanterns and the microphone stands were green skeletons. It was quite a display.
The “woahs” began to intensify by the second song, I Turned into a Martian, which pumped the audience up significantly. Despite some feedback issues, they killed it on their songs, which included the popular Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?, Hybrid Moments, Green Hell, Halloween, and Last Caress.
The audience did seem to get into the show, circle pits forming on the floor and almost everyone standing and even dancing in the seated sections, but complaints included poor sound quality, too many speech interludes between songs, and poor performances.
It’s the Misfits.
The band formed in 1977 and the members of the original lineup are still alive (maybe undead?), which is enough to be thankful for, but they are famous for those raw and hardcore sounds.
We got to see Jerry Only slide across stage in full regalia and Doyle in his stark contrast of shirtless wrestler body combined with the black and white face paint uniting with Danzig in all of his Danziggy glory. Sure, making out what Danzig was saying during the conversational parts was near impossible, but they, the original lineup, played a song that was allegedly banned from Texas. It was horror punk in it’s finest. Sometimes spotty, sometimes brutal, but it definitely had that energy that gives you something more to live for.
Also, Danzig is almost always difficult to understand. You just have to get used to it. It was made worse by the unfortunate feedback, but these things happen.
We were promised that if we were good little fiends (and we were, singing and screaming and woooooahhhh-ing our hearts out) that they would come back out for a song or two.
They played six! Including their first hit, She, and the wildly momentive Some Kinda Hate, their encore really brought down the house. Ending on Attitude, a song that probably sums up how the Misfits feel about the people who couldn’t just enjoy the show for what it was, the show ended on a high note.
Walking back to our car through the dark crowd of punks and horror enthusiasts felt like we were all peers on that journey. I was still too overwhelmed with how awesome people looked to notice any negative comments being found around at that point and the process of getting our phones back was a breeze.
Exiting the arena into the foggy night, lit up by streetlights and newly re-acquired phones, was ethereal. Plus, almost all of the merch had the date on it without being upcharged from the rest of the merch, so a great big THANK YOU for that. I wanted a one-night-only souvenir to be reflective of that and appreciate that it is.
They called it The Misfits Ride Again. That they did, and we rode with them.
Death Comes Ripping
I Turned Into a Martian
Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
Where Eagles Dare
Teenagers From Mars
Who Killed Marilyn
Die, Die My Darling
Night of the Living Dead
Some Kinda Hate
All Hell Breaks Loose