Oh the fifteen year old me was in heaven this past Saturday night as the Misfits brought another one of their ten court ordered performances to the City Of Angels. It was Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo on stage for just shy of two hours playing the better part of their catalogue to a seventy percent full venue on a beautiful night in the Banc Of California Stadium.
While the image of former punk rockers turned parents dancing to “Hybrid Moments” with their kids in the stands of a twenty two thousand seat venue may be the least punk rock thing ever, yet I had an amazing time. Sure, the soul of the underground musical movement which the Misfits helped pioneer was gone, there’s nothing anti-establishment about playing a soccer stadium. But underneath the fog of forty dollar t-shirts and seventeen dollar Angel City IPA’s, was a show I felt delivered ten fold on whatever unspoken promises that were made the moment I bought the tickets.
I didn’t expect a massive laser spectacular or giant inflatable skull heads, honestly those kind of theatrics would seem out of place here. It was four dudes, leather, instruments, and a couple screens. One might argument the set up was the punkest approach to the large scale concert experience. But we didn’t need a show for the show to be great. All we needed was Danzig’s voice coupled with the band’s three chord distorted bliss.
The setlist included just about everything you came there to see, plus a couple deep cuts like “Who Killed Marilyn?” and “Come Back”. The latter being performed with Danzig for the first time ever. Sure, not everyone knew the words to “Green Hell” but you bet your ass when “Attitude” came on that place turned into everything a concert should be. I might also add it was very hysterical to watch a California PC audience scream at the top of their lungs at the start of “Last Caress” then go silent until after Danzig sings the part about forced intercourse on a family member. Which is only one of a few violent acts committed in that songs, and it’s arguably one of the most popular Misfits tracks… weird shit right?
I can understand all the people who’ve been with the Misfits since day one completely loathing the idea of the band playing to such a hearty hall, but for people like me, I was just happy to see songs like “Bullet”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “Skulls”, and “Hybrid Moments” live while I had the opportunity. Because after the last of these court ordered performances are over, I highly doubt we’ll see these guys together on stage again. Oasis will reunite before a post 2020 Original Misfits show gets booked. Unless Danzig needs cat food money, then maybe. Granted the experience was probably the most corporatized punk affair I’ve ever attended (even more than a Green Day concert), it will be one I cherish until the end of my days.
Now, I am a person of the people, and here comes the part where I will make you aware of the fine print of going to a concert at Banc Of California Stadium because there are more shows on the docket there and I had a couple surprises worth letting you know about… for starters, it can run you as much as $40.00 to park. That’s two beers you’re not going to have. Also, traffic around the venue is also a God damn nightmare even for Los Angeles standards. So be extra prepared.
At that rate for parking, do as much drinking in the lot as possible because the venue charges minimum $14.00 for 22 oz can of Miller Light, all the way to $17.00 for a 24oz craft draft or 16 oz Angel City IPA. The food? Who cares! It’s overpriced and there are too many badass restaurants in LA to eat dinner at a stadium. But if you’re going to eat ballpark fare in La-La-Land, Dodger Dogs, all the way.
Weed is now legal in California but security will take everything you got at the door. If you can smoke it, it’s not allowed, and I couldn’t reinforce the fact that security will take your vape pens (tobacco and weed), any cigarettes or pre-rolls on your person, hell they’ll take your lighter. Yes, your lighter. Granted people still get stuff into the place, and you’ll see people smoking just about freely on the inside. But if you’re caught at the door, it’s either go back to your car or donate it to the guards getting high after the show fund.
The Misfits concert didn’t sellout. They actually started packaging tickets in bundles to drive up sales. Remember when I said the place was only seventy percent full? If you ever see that a show at Banc Of California Stadium isn’t selling well, just buy a cheap ticket and you’ll basically be able to watch the show from one of like six standing areas which are way better spots than anywhere in the nosebleeds. Some sections were so empty you could just go sit down, nobody cared. You’re not getting on the field, but this relaxed seating policy everywhere else made up for some of the more expensive annoyances.
Also, sections around 221 will have a view that’s obstructed by a speaker tower in the middle of the field. Which is how I found out about the standing only parts located throughout the stadium.
Please keep all of the above in mind if you plan on attending a show there in the future.
I’ve never had the opportunity to see The Clash. The Sex Pistols briefly reunited in the 90’s but I was like twelve. The Ramones played Cleveland a couple times during my life, but again… too young. Plus one time they opened for The Offspring, not even on the SMASH tour either, blasphemy! There’s no point in seeing post SMASH Offspring in concert unless they’re playing SMASH in its entirety. So out of all the classic punk bands I’ve held close to my heart for twenty plus years, I’m delighted to have seen The Misfits live.
At the end of the year, they’ll have only one show left to play… where will it be?
And no… Danzig didn’t take off his shirt… at all.
By Adam Chmielewski
Photo Credits- Jess Faulstich (@epicfaul)/Misfits.com/Scott Gries
Were you at the Misfits concert last Saturday? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!!