REVIEW BY DANIEL RAVEN
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Saturday, May 28, 2011
For a guy with a reputation for taking himself too seriously, Glenn Danzig seemed unusually genuine and appreciative of his fans last night, as his band killed it at the Marquee Theatre.
With no hint of the unholier-than-thou attitude he's been rumored to convey during public appearances and in interviews, the Satanic rocker worked the whole stage, thrusting his pelvis and flashing devil horns to audience members on both sides of the venue with enthusiasm.
Protected for the beginning of his set by an enormous bodyguard who looked like he spent more time lifting cakes than weights, the singer wasted no time whipping the crowd into a fist-pumping frenzy.
Although Danzig used sustained eye contact with individual audience members and a seemingly endless supply of energy to win over the crowd, that job was done long before his band went on.
The fact that groups of drunken strangers were belting out the chorus to The Misfits' anthem "Halloween" on the smoking patio while waiting for the group to take the stage was a good indication that Glenn Danzig was among friends.
While his old band had plenty of horror punk hits, the band that bears the singer's namesake has a ridiculously solid catalogue in its own right.
Crooning and roaring through classics like "Mother," "She Rides," and "Her Black Wings," Danzig proved that even after nearly 35 years as a frontman, he's still blessed with the most simultaneously beautiful and powerful voice in heavy music.
A highlight of the evening came when he announced "I'm not singing this one, it's up to you," and forced the crowd to take over on "How The Gods Kill."
Another highlight was his performance of "Thirteen," a song he wrote for Johnny Cash which more recently served as the opening credits music for the movie The Hangover.
Danzig's songwriting skills have always been on par with his singing, and it was no surprise that more recent material he played, like "Deth Red Moon" and "On A Wicked Night," were on par with his more vintage material.
Although the musicians on stage had no hand in creating the band's most iconic songs, they did do a terrific job enhancing the brutality of the music by speeding up some songs appropriately and slowing others down at key moments to give the riffs all the weight of a sledgehammer.
The sound of the instruments stayed clean and crisp, even when the guitarist left the stage to play in front of the barricades.
Ultimately, last night's crowd was lucky to see this band play.
Despite the fact that Glenn looks and sounds great and seems to have tons of energy, he's moving into the second half of his 50s and it's difficult to tell how long seeing Danzig live will remain a possibility.
Last Night: Danzig at Marquee Theatre
The Crowd: Apparently, the secret to dating hot little tattooed metalhead girls is to stop shaving and showering and begin dressing like a homeless person instead.
Overheard In The Crowd: "Danzig's people are crazy about photos. If you pull your cell phone out and they even think you're taking a picture, they'll kick you out."
Personal Bias: There's more talent in Glenn Danzig's litterbox than there is on stage at a Northside Kings show, and no one can suckerpunch the man hard enough to change that.