Rock & Shock 2009: Misfits + Type O Negative at the Palladium
Misfits, "Saturday Night"
So far, October has been a great month for me to live out my adolescent
fantasies: In the span of one weekend, I not only got to shake
Leatherface's hand, but also to see Type O Negative singing "Love You to Death" from five feet away. (Thank you, Rock & Shock all-access press pass.)
When we waltz into the Palladium on Saturday night, we arrive just in time for the tail end of Saint Vitus's set, which has an Anvil-ish
whiff to it: "Those of you who remember us, you are why we are here,"
the frontman tells us. "Those of you who are seeing us for the first
time, don't be too pissed off. Just go home, drop some acid, and listen
to our records." The suggestion of mellowness isn't working so well: a
burly guy suddenly lunges at top-hatted fellow perched on a ledge in
front of us, trying to drag him off. Crazybrains is swiftly spirited
away by a bouncer -- but not everyone will go down that easy tonight.
When it's time for the Misfits,
we wade through a sea of girls wearing
T-shirts emblazoned with tit-cupping skeleton hands (signature Misfits
merch). A clutch of teen boys have painted their faces up like Fiend skulls, infectiously stoked to see a band that's been around roughly 15
years longer than they've been alive. We set up camp right next to the
stage, under a sign that declares: "No crowd-punching, head-walking, or
The stage setup is impressive: flanked by two gigantic Fiend heads, a rib cage and an upthrust
skeleton arm adorn one mic stand; in the center sits a drum set sprouting huge spikes, skulls
impaled on every cymbal head. These guys really know how to work a
When frontman Jerry Only -- looking supernaturally jacked in his
cutoff spiked jacket and black rubber tourniquets cinched around his arm,
his oily devilock
dripping down his face -- and the band launch into "Teenagers from
Mars," my face is right beside a speaker well. The sonic blast makes my
chest palpitate. Their
set mows us down in a machine-gun-style blur, with ratatat bursts of
face-melting sludge. In a rare pause between songs, Only soaks us with
water and barks: "Are you ready to sing? Or are you ready to go the
fuck home?" The crowd erupts into a paroxysm of moshing. For me, the
Misfits highlight of the
night is "Descending Angel," as the crowd howls the "Oh-wah-oh" chorus
in unison. For the finale, Only rips all the
strings off his bass. "One more song!" fans chant. Only good-naturedly
responds: "Aw, go fuck yourself."
the Misfits banner falls, and Type O Negative's rises. A roadie brings
out a coffin-shaped music stand with lyric sheets for lead singer Peter
Steele, who soon emerges onto the darkened stage with the rest of the
Drab Four (though tonight, keyboardist Scott Warren is standing in for
Josh Silver, who's "in school working towards certification as a paramedic").
For Rasputin-inspired opener "Dead Again," guitarist Kenny Hickey is wielding his guitar like a ray
gun, blasting squall into the audience, while the vibrations from Johnny Kelly's
jackhammer drumbeats rattle my legs through the floor.
by song #2 -- "In Praise of Bacchus" -- it's clear this set will be the
dark, sanguine/mossy yin to the Misfits' blistering yang: we've hopped
from 2-minute-long horrorpunk bursts to more languid 8-minute goth-rock
ballads about chloroform living ("Anesthesia") and werewolf women on
the rag ("Wolf Moon"). But the moshing is still in full effect -- maybe
a little too full. During heavy number "The Profits of Doom," the
bouncers drag a thicknecked dude (who's most like been crowd-punching,
head-walking, or fighting) out of the heaving pit. He's kicking and
spitting, and it takes three massive security guards to subdue him
before they drag him out the door.
"How many people think I
suck? How many of you want your money back?" Steele bellows. But
there's no sign of sucking here tonight -- Steele sounds better live
tonight than he has in ages (which, we can't help but wonder if that
might have something to do with the fact that he's chugging Gatorade
instead his customary bottle o' red wine). The night ends with "Black
No. 1." And when he sings "Her perfume smells like burning leaves,"
pretty much anyone in the audience with XX chromosomes fancies
herself a Little Miss Scare-All, as evidenced by the display heartfelt
mouthed lyrics and twirly dance moves. Before the end of the night,
Steele tells us: "With a face like mine, every day is Halloween." If
only he'd show that not-so-ugly mug around here more often.
Slideshow of Misfits and Type O Negative
Nearly complete set list from Type O Negative's show
Type O Negative set list - Halloween 2009