Tonight’s show was going to find me exhausted long before I even walked in to the venue for it seemed as only a few hours before that I was leaving the show that the legendary Carcass had held over at the nearby Nokia Theater. The band headlined a six band bill and to do the Metal thing properly we were on point for every single band and this show started early and ended late. Since Sunday’s show was to feature another influential musical personality I had to muster my strength and get myself back into action for it. The guitarist who is well known as Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein comes to us originally from The Misfits and while he had appeared at a number of Danzig shows for the brief Misfit set, he had not done that in awhile and was now adventuring out on his own. The band is called Gorgeous Frankenstein and the show would be at our home away from home B.B. King Blues Club and find three other interesting acts in tow. Figuring we saw some special stuff the night before by arriving early we opted to do so again and see what transpired. Here is the way that the night played out.
Johnny B. Morbid: After starting off the festivities at my favorite spot between the Times Square venues (the bar called Smith’s) I hurried down into the venue to see the first band who were a group of guys from New Jersey called Johnny B. Morbid. Considered the “local talent" addition to the festivities I had no idea what to expect and found myself enjoying the largely Metal meets Old School Misfits type of Horror Punk going on. Their lead singer is none other than Johnny B. himself and he sports a leather MC and has his face half painted as a skull. It was a great visual and worked within the aspect of what Doyle and company would soon come out and deliver. Their set was energetic but it was very early when they went on and hence not too many people got to enjoy them. The other guys in the group are talented musicians as well and all had blood spatter on their clothes which added to the visual angle. My guess is that this band has some potential to go far if they successfully keep the image growing and getting more interesting without sacrificing any of their musical skills. Good luck guys. Car Bomb was up next.
Car Bomb: Blending elements of Hard Core with straight ahead Punk, the guys in Car Bomb were able to deliver some crushing heaviness right off the bat as they hit the stage. I had little background in them but admit that I was enjoying what they were doing and the crowd that had assembled by their set time seemed to be getting into it. They lucked out because a few dozen more had joined the party since JBM’s set. I am guessing that if you like how Hardcore music has morphed itself over the years since its inception and if you enjoy much of what the Punk scene brings to the table then you would do yourself some justice by looking into these guys as well. They also brought an interesting light show to the mix and this had some tremendous effect on the performance as a result. Visual stuff is clearly not par for the course in Hardcore music so it was worth noting that by their doing this that they upgraded the game for themselves. I also found them to be rather heavy during this brief live set. Now it was time for Bella Morte who some of my friends were very excited to see perform.
Bella Morte: Metropolis Records recording artists Bella Morte were the direct support for the tour and had been making the rounds with GF for a few weeks it seemed. If I heard them correctly tonight was either the last night of the tour or one of the closing shows, and it seemed as though whomever was coming to this gig was now here but that was not great since there was a lot of space open in the venue. My night of new musical experiences continued as Bella Morte delivered a very Gothic sounding Metal to the fans. There was keyboards that added atmosphere and a lot of great guitar riffs all keeping lead singer Andy Deane at his best. The musician is very into his set and showed a ton off expression and passion during the music. It was impressive to see how he was moved by what he was doing as this energy is clearly absorbed by the audience close enough to see him right in the eyes. Andy spoke of a new album coming out on Metropolis Records and I believed he said it would be a self-titled release. I would like to hear more from these guys since its not like the stuff I am normally listening to and in that sense a little fresher to my ears against all of the Power and Melodic Metal. Variety is indeed the spice of life. Now it was time for Doyle to make his appearance and the dramatic stage was making everyone in the audience all the more excited.
Gorgeous Frankenstein: Gorgeous Frankenstein as a band finds Doyle playing the guitar, Dr. Chud on drums and Argyle Goolsby playing bass and singing lead vocals. The group is rounded out by Doyle’s wife Gorgeous George who performs on a stripper pole and sings some backing vocals but generally her role seems to be to rile up the crowd and keep them engaged as much as possible. The drums of Dr. Chud, who also played in The Misfits at one point, were this cool lime green color and he himself looks like some evil version of the Great Pumpkin even though C.H.U.D. I am told stands for “Cannibalistic Human Underground Drummer”. The band came onstage like the hurricane from the night before and Doyle is not one to stand idly by and strum his guitar as he instead literally stomps around the stage and attacks the instrument with sheer brute force as much as possible. The set moved quickly and while featuring a number of the bands own tunes had a really healthy base of The Misfits classics. I counted some fifteen such numbers on the set list and even though a couple of tunes had been crossed off the list for tonight the band would still deliver about twenty six numbers and that’s never a bad thing. The audience wasn’t bored as any of this was happening because it was a very visually interesting show with Doyle and his monster mashing while George teased from the pole and often came down to toss a lucky fan a guitar pick or a shirt with the band’s name on it. George does know how to work the audience after all of her experience in the wrestling ring.
I didn’t own the album that Doyle and gang had released so I found myself leaning more to their renditions of the Misfits tracks but that was ok since the whole set was proving to be a lot of fun for anyone in the venue. There were cameras everywhere in the audience and with Doyle being such an imposing individual you know that a lot of fans left the show with a number of great shots. Goolsby was actually the newest addition to the group and apparently does double duty by being in a band of his own called Blitzkid. He was doing a great job at all of the material this evening so my hope is that he becomes a more official part of the lineup going forward. This was definitely proving to be a band that any fan of The Misfits or even someone like Wednesday 13 would enjoy in concert. As the night drew to a close Goolsby informed everyone that it was now time for the copyright infringement part of the show as they slammed down a Horror Punk version of Led Zeppelin’s timeless “Immigrant Song”. The cover went over well and found the audience with fists in the air. It was definitely a whole lot different from the original version but done with the proper respect to the masters. The final song of the night was Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” and for this one the band called out their road manager who helped them shout the chorus all the more louder. It was really a good time when it came down to it and I was glad that I chose to hit this one even after just hitting what amounted to a mini festival the night before.
My issue was with the really limited presence for the bands this evening but I had assumed that with school beginning in a few short days and people having done their vacations up for the just passed Labor Day weekend that perhaps they just couldn’t make it. The downside was more for them as they missed an interesting and rather exciting show that was headlined by a very influential musical personality. Doyle was part of something unique to the music realm back in the day and while some might pine about his absence in The Misfits at least he is doing something that all of those fans can enjoy with his new project. They would have enjoyed being able to see him in such close quarters. Remember fans that we need to support the artists we like as often as possible in order for them to be able to keep doing this.
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Official Web Site: www.gorgeousfrankenstein.com
Official Web Site: www.bellamorte.com
Official Web Site: www.carbombcult.com
Official Web Site: www.myspace.com/johnnybmorbid
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