The Misfits / The Damned

The Misfits / The Damned: live in Minneapolislive in Minneapolis (2003)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: ZLNFTOCZLNFTOC
(others by this writer | submit your own)

After the infamous Damned/Misfits UK tour of 1979 fell short of any grandiose expectations that preceded it, few would have predicted that the two bands would ever tour again nearly 24 years later. Nevertheless, the first annual "Fiend Fest" is an intriguing concept: a tour that inverts the order .

    After the infamous Damned/Misfits UK tour of 1979 fell short of any grandiose expectations that preceded it, few would have predicted that the two bands would ever tour again nearly 24 years later. Nevertheless, the first annual "Fiend Fest" is an intriguing concept: a tour that inverts the order of the two aforementioned groups just as the two legendary bands seem to have a contrary disparity in terms of perception: the Damned are fairly revered in the punk scene whereas the "Newfits" are viewed as a "cover band" with detractors ranging from Rolling Stone to Mitch Clem. Any subsequent tour success will undoubtedly be attributed to younger fans or nostalgics who gleefully cheer for 20 year-old Danzig-era classics or a motley of covers. Nonetheless, the Misfits have sustained a vast fan base in spite of all the changes while the Damned have done rather well themselves. Perhaps the ultimate test of both bands' competence would take place in the live venue where any pretentious expectations would finally be set or fail to be met.
    While waiting outside the venue for the doors to open, I struck up a conversation with a fellow fan about the show's actual line-up. I mentioned that D.I. would open and play "O.C. Life." D.I. kicked off the Fiend Fest with a juvenile taunt of, "Hey were D.I.! And you're not!" at 7 P.M sharp, as an eerily familiar riff resonated through the Quest. As fate would have it, they opened with "O.C. Life," a song Rikk Agnew wrote prior to his stint with the Adolescents (so would that make it a cover?). Casey (who sort of resembles Keith Morris) walked about the stage and added some banter to the classic satire. "O.C. Life" was followed by a brief speech that paved the way for the substantially less satirical "Guns." At this point in the show, Mr. Royer asked the crowd for a circle pit (which never started) then broke into a new song possibly entitled "O.C.'s Burning." "Falling Out" and a song dedicated to a fat man named Rollo ("Fatso Nero?") would follow before a fan shouted out a request for "Richard Hung Himself." The band initially denied the request opting to play "Johnny's Got A Problem" but finally asked, "Ok, we're going to do one more. You want to hear ??Richard Hung Himself?'" Many cheers followed and D.I. closed out their set a mere 26 minutes after it had started.
    As 311's "Creatures" faintly faded from the P.A., Balzac took the stage to a creepy intro that preceded their performance. Though I couldn't make out a setlist, I do know that they played 8 songs, the majority of which contained a lot of, "Whoa-oh-oh-oh's." But if you're going to learn one punk chant, it might as well be cosmopolitan. Speaking of, the fact that Balzac are Japanese really didn't affect their sound: fast, heavy anthems that sounded in place on a bill with the Misfits. However, their lead singer did bow after each song and (presumably) thank the crowd in Japanese.
    After ten minutes, New York's Agnostic Front started off their set a little after 8 P.M. as Roger Miret grabbed the microphone and blasted through two songs, the second a new tune named "Had Enough." It seemed as though a female crew member would adjust the microphone or give Roger- who alternated between singer and singer/guitarist-a guitar between each song. This turned out to be the sole deterrent from what was an otherwise intense and energetic performance. Despite their effort, Miret yelled, "Hey Minneapolis, I want to see you go off like you did at that Good Charlotte show!" after a raucous "Riot Riot Upstart." The next song (which started, "From the East Coast...") would cause many to sing along later chanting "Oi Oi Oi!" A happy little ditty entitled "Everyone Loves Giuliani" followed with a "F You!" chorus dedicated to the former New York Mayor. A song about life and intense finale with a chant of "Take a Left!" ended their half-hour set. Though Agnostic Front had played for (approximately) the same amount of time as the two previous bands, they had clearly elicited strong audience participation unlike their two predecessors.
    Whereas Agnostic Front's set carried a strong political undertone, the mood for the Dickies' set would be met by Leonard Philips' opening words: "Hey, we're the Dickies from O.C. This is a song we secretly wrote for the Moody Blues in 1947." The group then tore through "Nights In White Satin" and managed to incorporate puppets (from a dog to a gorilla) throughout their performance. Philips also joked about Fat Wreck Chords stating, "Hey, the lead singer of NOFX is my boss. How the hell did that happen?" Their guitarist simply said, "Heroin." Having played "My Pop The Cop" (a "new" song), a humorous speech about reality TV would continue the hilarity before the Dickies led everyone to one last chant of "Tobacco" or possibly "Take me home!"
    That being said, each of the four opening bands' vocals would fluctuate from clear to inaudible. Perhaps this caused David Vanian to hold what appeared to be a vintage 1950's Cardyne 1 microphone in the palm of his hand for tonight's show. Or perhaps his choice merely served as a metaphor for the Damned in today's punk scene: a bit archaic and unconventional but still able to perform. Sans a spooky intro or much banter, the Damned broke into a furious "Ignite." Following many applause and cheers, the Damned tore through two classics, "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" and "See Her Tonite." Following two vintage cuts, "song.com" was played along with an unrecognizable song ("Strength Of Druids?") which paved the way for "Amen," a very dark yet somewhat beautiful number. A foreword that involved death, freedom, and the Damned introduced the gothic-tinged "13th Floor Vendetta" before "Democracy" sped up the show's pace. In a stark contrast, the lyrics of "History Of The World, Part I" drudged to a depressive lull that would make Robert Smith's work seem cheerful by comparison. But things would liven up with a speedy run through "Neat Neat Neat"/"Break On Through." It seemed as though the show would end without "Smash It Up" but the Damned decided to play one last song as the Dickies' Stan Lee took over for Captain Sensible as the latter sprinted around the stage. The finale was none other than "New Rose." As 48 minutes seemed to fly by, the Damned had crafted an incredible 12-song set as it had meandered through both an emotionally and thematic gamut. Perhaps their only fault was a reluctance to "connect" with the audience (that and at least two occurrences of bad guitar feedback).
    By contrast , Jerry Only strolled in front of the curtain to raise his arms for applause before wandering off then only to return at 10:52 P.M. As soon as the curtain rose, some guy yelled, "Play some Slayer!" to many laughs. Instead, the band opened with "Hybrid Moments" then tore through a set of Danzig era classics including a ridiculously rapid "Last Caress." But after the night's first Ramones' cover, the Misfits' set deteriorated into an indistinguishable medley of "Whoa-oh's" as well as a terrible rendition of either "She" or "Jealous Again." Aware of this problem, Jerry asked the crowd to sing along on "Dig Up Her Bones" then led another sing-along of "Rise Above" where Dez's vocals were particularly prominent. Jerry's vocals were rather adept as he crooned three songs from Project 1950 in succession (quite possibly the only time the likes of Bobby Darin have incited a circle pit). After a concession to newer material ("Kong At The Gates", the ??greatest wrestling intro music ever' in Jerry's words ), the inevitable "I Wanna Be Sedated" was covered as Jerry "f'd up" but replied, "You wanted to hear it twice anyway!" before they re-started (quite possibly the only time anyone has "f'd up" a Ramones song). "Die Die Die My Darling" was introduced as the last song but a raucous "We Are 138" would close the set. Many chants of, "Misfits, Misifts!" followed and a stage hand asked everyone to chant, "Hey, ho, let's go!" The band returned to the stage stating that we "knew the next one" as both "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "Beat On The Brat" were played. Seeing how the probable Ramones covers had been performed, I wondered what song would conclude the first annual Fiend Fest. Would it be another cover or a Walk Among Us classic? As things would turn out, the Misfits finished off with "Runaway", a cover. Whereas the encore choice and set in total (described by one fan as "more of a Misfits/Black Flag show") may have left some disappointed, Jerry, Dez, and even Marky stayed afterwards to sign autographs or take pictures with fans. I opted not to meet the Misfits although I congratulated Balzac (who were passing out ads for their new album DIY style ) on a good set on my way out.
    Ultimately, the Fiend Fest was won over by its two co-headliners. Whether or not the audience preferred the Misfits or Damned is difficult to tell. After all, inevitable criticism is one of the few certainties in punk. It seems as though the Damned will always be criticized for their slow, "boring" gothic dirges and the "new" Misfits will never live up to the very name they so viciously fought for. But these and other differing opinions will continue to persist as long as the two groups exist. For as long as the Misfits and Damned subsist, divergent opinions like proliferate about punks running as wide of a scale as the distance from London to Lodi, New Jersey.
    D.I. (7:00 P.M.-7:26 P.M.)
    O.C. Life
    New Song (O.C.'s Burning?)
    Falling Out
    Fatso Nero
    Johnny's Got A Problem
    Richard Hung Himself
    Balzac (7:31 P.M.-7:57 P.M.)
    1-8 (don't know)
    Agnostic Front (8:07 P.M.-8:36 P.M.)
    Crucified (possibly)
    New Song (Had Enough?)
    Freedom (possibly)
    Riot Riot Upstart
    "East Coast" song
    Everybody Loves Giuliani
    song about life (With Time possibly)
    "Take A Left" song
    Dickies (8:51 P.M.-9:23 P.M.)
    Nights In White Satin
    Roadkill (possibly)
    Say song
    Old song
    She (possibly)
    Free Willy song
    My Pop The Cop
    Wa Wa song
    You Drive Me Ape
    See Me?
    The Damned (9:44 P.M.-10:32 P.M.)
    I Just Can't Be Happy Today
    See Her Tonite
    The Strength Of Druids?
    13th Floor Vendetta
    History Of The World, Part I
    Neat Neat Neat/Break on Through
    New Rose
    Misfits (10:52 P.M.-11:55 P.M.)
    Hybrid Moments/Attitude
    Some Kinda Hate
    Last Caress/Halloween
    Astro Zombies
    I Turned Into a Martian
    I Just Want To Have Something To Do (Ramones Cover)
    Mars Attacks or Saturday Night
    She or Jealous Again (Black Flag Cover)
    The Shining
    Dig Up Her Bones
    Rise Above (Black Flag Cover)
    This Magic Moment (Drifters Cover)
    Dream Lover (Bobby Darin Cover)
    Donna (Richie Valens Cover)
    The KKK Took My Baby Away (Ramones Cover)
    Pit song
    Kong At The Gates/The Forbidden Zone
    I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones Cover)
    Die Die My Darling
    We Are 138
    Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones Cover)
    Beat On The Brat (Ramones Cover)
    Runaway (Del Shannon Cover)


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 7, 2003)

Hmmm that's odd. Balzac probably did play Day the Earth Caught Fire as the first "real" track. However, the only song they have with "creation" in it is Day the Earth Caught Fire. It goes, "To our fate, under creation, never facing it in this whole world!" I don't know what other song it could be. Also, they didn't play The Haunting for a good reason. Most Balzac fans that I know, namely on the balzac -ml on Yahoo! groups, don't like the "new" Misfits. They asked Chris G, the guy who runs their US distro to ask the ml what they wanted to hear. Everybody said, "NO MISFITS COVERS!" This took the band by suprise, but it's what happened. My ideal set list would look like this:

The Slaughter House
Blood Bath = Blood Mind
Violent Paradise
Monster II
Night Tide
Out of the Blue
In Your Face
The Silence of Crows
Isolation From No.13
Teenage Vampire 49
and to finish it, the all mighty, Fiendish Ghouls

It would be long, but fun. If any of you want to trade music for some Balzac stuff, e -mail me. Also, to buy Balzac merch go to www.balzac308.com, for info go to www.isolation13.com and www.balzaccult.com.

-Matt W - deathsickle@hotmail.com

ZLNFTOC (September 2, 2003)

While, as long as I'm on here, here is the Dickies setlist courtesy of "greg" from the Dickies board:

Nights In White Satin
I'm Ok
Got It At The Store
Give It Back
My Pop The Cop
Tricia Toyota
If Stuart Could Talk

ZLNFTOC (September 2, 2003)

Matt W

Thanks for the setlist. After listening to a little of Balzac, I’m certain that they opened with "Day the Earth Caught Fire" following a pre-recorded intro. I am also pretty sure that they played "Tomorrow" as the third or fourth song. It sort of confused me because a lot of that song was in Japanese but the chorus was in English. So I think the set may have gone like this:

Day the Earth Caught Fire
13 Ghosts
Silence of the Crows
song about creation????
Nowhere #13 (99% certain of this)
Diabolos (not so sure of this one)
Violent Paradise (not so sure of this one either)

Anyway, Balzac were really good although I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t play "The Haunting/Don’t Open Until Doomsday." Now, if I could only figure out Agnostic Front’s set.

Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

Ok, I asked a few friends, who are affiliated with Balzac what the set list was. Eventhough it changed almost every night, this was the general list of songs the band played:

Intro Music
Day the Earth Caught Fire
13 Ghosts
Silence of the Crows
End of Century
Nowhere #13
Into the Light of the 13 Dark Night
Violent Paradise

This is not the exact set list for the Minneapolis show, but it is close. I know Fiendish Ghouls was played a few times and the new Season of the Dead, not the Zennou -naru bonus track, was played once in NJ. Other songs were substituted like The Bleeding Light and In Your Face. I hope this helps with Balzac's set list.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

I wasn't at the show, but what I do know is that Balzac totally rocks. They are definitely my favorite band. They've been pumping out amazingly good songs since 1992. I have almost their complete discography, consisting of about 35 music releases and about 5 videos and 4 DVD's. Everything this band writes is good. Not much more I can say, but this is the band that got me into Japanese hardcore. If you want to trade for some Balzac songs, which I would be more than happy to do, which I have over 200 tracks of, send me an e -mail.

- Matt W - deathsickle@hotmail.com

Anonymous (August 22, 2003)

Hahahaha... American bands suck at doing English Oi! songs.

Anonymous (August 22, 2003)

The "take a left" song listed for Agnostic Front's set is actually "Take em all." It's a cocksparrer cover.

Anonymous (August 21, 2003)

totally unrelated...

"They were formed by a manager to promote his boutique. Why? Cause they looked sexy i.e. Sex Pistols."

Hahahahhahaha... Poor dumb kids are fuckin hilarious.

Anonymous (August 20, 2003)

I have nothing against Jerry and I do enjoy the "Newfits" (although, the older stuff is obviously way better) But whoever said that they need to call it a day is correct.

Danzig needs to come back. Even if it was just for one show.

And not surprisingly, Danzig's solo work was way better than the Misfits have put out since he's been gone.

Danzig WAS and will ALWAYS be The Misfits.

sickboi (August 19, 2003)

New Misfits better than what? Other cover bands? Yeah, I guess you're right.

Anonymous (August 18, 2003)

That is quite true... But the Damned still have Vanian and Sensible, 1/2 of the original line up, where as, Jerry Only wasn't even in the original Misfits line up... Also, the Damned have their original singer with them and since they DID make the line up change that left only Dave and the Captain occured 20 years ago, it doesn't come off as as much of a cash in. Brian may have written those songs, but he needed the rest of the band to play them. Now, the Damned with ONLY Rat Scabies on drums... That was blasphemous...


ZLNFTOC (August 18, 2003)


Much like D.I. performing “O.C. Life” (which Rikk Agnew wrote), I’m not sure that you can classify songs that have been written by a departed member, or in this instance, Glenn Danzig. I even mentioned that many people view the “Newfits” as a cover band who merely survive off 20 year old material. Therefore, this begs to question: are punk bands who perform material written by departed members
cover bands? Hell, the Damned played “See Her Tonite,” “Neat, Neat, Neat” and “New Rose.” Should I have classified those songs as Brian James’ covers considering that he wrote each of the aforementioned tunes. But, I’ll leave with this question: Bill Stevenson has played “Myage” or “Bikeage” with All. Does this mean All has performed Descendents’ covers even though Stevenson wrote both songs?

Anonymous (August 18, 2003)

this show was ridiculous, and i caught it in tampa. DI sounded great, but were kinda unenergetic (i'm a big fan, but it just didnt seem like they were having fun up there)... balzac were ... well... let's say interesting... agnostic front had a really bad mix and it sounded like shit... The DICKIES were fucking AWESOME! BLEW me AWAY! they put on a flawless performance and had some of the most hilarious and witty stage banter i've ever heard... they played mostly old songs and totally ruled the school... The Damned were fucking great too (as always)! they opened up with Ignite and i almost pissed myself... i just wish tehy could have played longer and more shit off of machine gun ettiquite and teh first album... they did play history of the world which was awesome to see (definately an unexpected song choice that i was stoked to hear)... Now for the freakshow that is the current incarnation of the misfits. for dudes playing their instruments for over 20 years, they really fucking sucked. it was sloppy as all hell, and marky ramone can't even manage to play ramones songs on the drums correctly (let alone rise above, or any of the misfits songs). jerry only sings like a bellowing behemoth and wouldnt know how to hit a good note if his life depended on it. watching this horrendous douche fest was like passing a car crash. it was ugly, but you had to look at it. mostly i was hitting my head against the wall in hopes of me being put out of my misery. anyways... it was worth the 30 bucks just for the damned and Dickies, so im not complaining... i just wish the "misfits" would fucking give up... its real sad that jerry only has to hang on to this identity and continue playing these old misfits songs that he never even wrote.

adamvms (August 18, 2003)

Not being rude here but why is it that misfits songs don't say (misfits cover)... It's as much misfits as it is ramones/black flag, so I am just curious why some would be cover songs while others would be 'originals'

TheOneTrueBill (August 17, 2003)

I wish i was there in Chicago. Alas, obligations got in the way, and I'm sad.

Anonymous (August 17, 2003)

Really... They got a fucking fake Morrison... Just to milk the cow.


moldy (August 17, 2003)

i think you should add doors of the 21st century to hoax fest

Anonymous (August 17, 2003)

Wow. Thats a stunning joke. Too bad the new Misfits are still better than most other new bands. And to be honest, the Damned always were a lot better than them.


sickboi (August 16, 2003)

I think the "Misfits" and the "Dead Kennedys" need to do a tour together.

I would call is "Hoaxfest 2003".

Anonymous (August 16, 2003)

Yes you are, my fat headed friend, yes you are...

Anonymous (August 16, 2003)

i meant to say nothing nice.

i am a moron.

Anonymous (August 16, 2003)

Prop to Mitch Clem and nothing new!!!

Anonymous (August 15, 2003)

you can suck cozmos dick.

Anonymous (August 15, 2003)

you can suck cozmos dick.

Edgie (August 15, 2003)

Good review.

No way I'd pay what they're charging to see it, though, as much as I'd like to see Agnostic Front again.

Anonymous (August 15, 2003)

i saw this show in detroit.it was so awesome.

Anonymous (August 15, 2003)


I still don't know if I'm going Tuesday, oh what to do???? Anyone?


skankin_in_the_pit (August 15, 2003)

This tour was a dream for me. Agnostic Front are my favorite hardcore band and are always intense live. D.I and the Dickies will always be a blast to see. Balzac were a lot better then I thought they'd be. And you can say what you want about the misfits, but I'll always be happy to see any members from Black Flag the Ramones or anyone play Misfits classics. It will never be Glen and the boys but it is as close as I'll ever come.

Anonymous (August 15, 2003)

Sounds like quite the show... I saw the Damned a few years back, and they were nothing short of amazing. I don't really hate the 'newfits' as much as a lot of people do either, although, I would obviously prefer more original members. Or at least 'oldfits'. I thought the whole punkrock supergroup thing was just for the whole 25 years of terror thing...


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