The Misfits @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/31/2009)

Logo - The Misfits

Artist: The Misfits
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: The Zombie Mafia
Date: 10/31/2009
Label: Misfits Records

After having so much fun at last Halloween’s haunted shindig at B.B. King Blues Club, I guess one could say that this evening would be a serious case of déjà “boo” as I returned to the scene of the crime this year to once again enjoy a performance by The Misfits. The 2008 gig was a whole lot of fun and found the club sold out to capacity and hosting a bevy of opening acts that all got into the spirit of things by dressing up for the most part themselves. Tonight we would only have one kick off act in The Zombie Mafia and since I had never heard them before this evening I would make sure to be inside early to get the scoop.

The Zombie Mafia: The show started rather early and when I arrived The Zombie Mafia was already beginning to do their thing. They all sported makeup of some kind and while one looked like a skull’s grim head another was made up as if he had the same makeup advisor as the guys in Immortal. Having no real background on them before this set I was not able to fairly gauge more than the opinion of their being “pretty good” at their game. They clearly had some fans in the crowd who were pushing them forward with applause and during the final number they would bring up a friend of theirs who would join them for the chorus. I was not sure if there was any deeper reasoning into this outside of it being something cool to do for a buddy and I am sure that this will be a nice memory for the kid to talk about for a while. I felt that The Zombie Mafia was better musically than vocally and observed how a very close tone to that of Danzig was being put out there by the singer. It’s not bad to do for this kind of music but I would rather hear someone be themselves as opposed to anyone else. There are already far too many bands that have guys singing in this register. Good luck to the band either way, and now the club was packed to the doors and it was time for The Misfits to take the stage.

The Misfits: NYC was bubbling like a cauldron with creepy activity for this Halloween and a lot of people had come into the venue for the show after first going to the annual parade down in the Village. As expected many were in costumes this evening which brought the night to a bigger and better level in terms of its overall spookified vibe. The venue was filling up nicely which was good to observe because one of the things that was also brewing this evening was a performance by Black Label Society who were doing a gig at The Hard Rock Café. To be honest with you I hardly cared about that show because when it comes down to it this was the better place to be on this particular night and the music of BLS doesn’t really bring out the spirit of Halloween when one compares to what Jerry and the guys do. Before the show, Jerry Only was seen walking around the venue talking to some of the fans and then he made his way upstairs where he absorbed the energy of the Halloween night as only NYC could offer it up. He posed with anyone who asked for a shot and a lot of them had the new album and were hoping for signatures on it from the man. A couple of police officers even got into the mood by getting a photo with Jerry at his request and now it was time to get back downstairs and rock the place loud enough to wake the dead.

The difference about tonight was that the show started just past eight pm, and this was not only because of one opening act but because the venue was hosting another event directly following this one and that meant get to the business of delivering Horror Punk classics without wasting any time. The stage set up was largely the same as the last year and didn’t seem to have any modifications, but that was ok since I always felt the display was imposing enough and impressive enough to leave alone. Why change what works right? The mammoth oversized drums of Robo and the giant skulls that are signature visual when it comes to The Misfits were all in place and when Jerry and the guys came out it was like an explosion of Punk & Roll force. Jerry greeted the crowd and launched into “Halloween” which was totally appropriate for the night and then delivered a monstrous “Earth A.D.”. He had been apt to announce the tracks performed before doing them, but I had to admit he was shooting them out a wee bit too fast for me once in awhile and caused me to not be too certain what number was coming at me. In the live sense The Misfits set careens by the senses and since there is a similar groove to many of the phrases and melodies it is easy to get confused. Growing up around their sound I was more of the casual fan and know the signature and staple numbers but some of them I just still find myself needing a little help with. He would do a lot of call and response kind of banter with the crowd and it really shows how much the fans mean to him by the way that he plays. The bodies were flying by around the second song and while I am often in the photo pit shooting some moments from the beginning of the gig, this was not the safest ground to be on, but I had a giant of a security dude known as “Tiny” catching the rockers in mid-air and returning them safely to the ground and the continuing insanity of the general audience area.

“Skulls” was one of my earliest favorites and so was “American Psycho” but all in all the whole night was proving to be a thrill ride. Robo was pounding away while Dez did the same on the guitar and also offered up the ever necessary backing vocals. I had to say that I felt Jerry’s voice to be a lot stronger this evening than I remembered it being the last time around but this could also have been based on my vantage point between the two shows I was comparing. Only challenged the audience before hitting into “Crying On A Saturday Night” by saying how about we do it like this, I sing one, and then you sing one, and no one in the crowd was arguing and readily complied. He then delivered “Dig Up Her Bones”. A few more would pass us by before Dez took the center stage and sang “Thirsty And Miserable”, a classic Black Flag tune. Jerry would pause before the tune “Descending Angel” to dedicate the song to a young girl named Summer who had been murdered a month previous to the show and I felt that this was something great for him to do. For me this shows just how important his fans are to him and how greatly he is impacted when losing one of them in this fashion. Tonight the band would be not only delivering the standards but also some new material from the recently released “Land Of The Dead” EP. The interesting thing about the release was that it would NOT be on CD but only via a legal digital download on MP3 or on the time honored classic medium of vinyl. This would surely send the record collectors of this kind of genre off the deep end as they scurry to make sure they own an early copy of it. The release has two new tracks which amount to the first new music from The Misfits since 2003 and the first from this lineup as well. The tunes are impressive and show that we will not find the band retiring any time soon. Jerry also thanked the fans profusely for making this the fifth year in a row that the venue had been sold out and for their constant support.

He would close up the night with another favorite of mine in “Die, Die My Darling” and surprise me with the omission of both “Green Hell” and “Last Caress”. If he did those two then it was as fast as I blinked and I missed them, so I am pretty much thinking they were cut from the mix tonight. When the show ended Jerry took his rings and gauntlets and tossed them into the crowd and the fans in the front went berserk as they tried to snare one of these collectibles. This cannot be easy to do in this economy so make sure you get to downloading that new music as soon as possible so he can keep doing things like this for the audience. We are speaking of doing it in the legal sense of course and not via torrents or Yahoo Groups. The special bond that Only feels with his fans continued for a good half hour as the bassist remained out in the crowd talking and posing for photos and signing whatever albums were placed in front of him. A meet and greet behind a big table is one thing but you have to admit that we rarely see the band walking among the fans in such close quarters these days. Nice job Jerry, this stuff makes for special memories in your fans forever. The downside was the early closing up of shop for the Rockers and I know that I was also wondering about what to do now that the show had ended. By being inside we missed the downpour of rain that hit the city which was a good thing but I sure could have found another couple of bands to be acceptable tonight. I had hoped that we would have found a surprise visit from Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein but that did not happen either. Perhaps in the future. In the end this did prove to be a smash up, crash up Halloween show that left none for want. Five years of this down, and I cannot wait for number six. See you then.

Oh and before I forget, I noticed a good handful of fans mentioning to the musician that they had missed all but five minutes of the show because they thought he would be going on later. I guess we should all pay better mind to the actual ticket information as if it says 7pm, then this will likely be the first supporting act. If no one else is on the bill like we found this evening, there is no way that the main act will go on four hours later. It’s sad to find that people missed a rocking show, but we all need to pay a little attention to the provided information about the event as well. As far as B.B. King’s goes, if these shows fall on a Friday or Saturday, I have noticed that there is usually going to be a later scheduled event of some kind and this means that our show will finish earlier. That’s a good thing since it let’s you hit a later show or movie right after and continue your night’s fun.

Zombie Mafia Set List:
1. Creepshow
2. Monster
3. Desire
4. Christine
5. She Axed For It
6. We Belong Dead
7. Dead World
8. Stay Dead
9. Vampires
10. Graffiti On Your Grave
11. Hyde

Misfits Set List:
1. Halloween
2. Earth A.D.
3. – unknown
4. – unknown
5. Hybrid Moments new
6. Teenagers From Mars
7. Attitude
8. Some Kind Of Monster
9. All I Want
10. Skulls
11. I Turned Into A Martian
12. 20 Eyes
13. Always Watchin’ Me
14. American Psycho
15. – unknown
16. – unknown
17. Crying On A Saturday Night
18. Dig Up Her Bones
19. Heart At The Gates
20. – unknown
21. Would U Love Me Anyway
22. – unknown
23. Thirsty & Miserable (Black Flag – Dez)
24. Descending Angel
25. Land Of The Dead
26. American Nightmare
27. We Are 138
28. Twilight Of The Dead
29. Rise Above (Black Flag)
30. Die, Die My Darling

NY's Finest & Jerry Only
NY's Finest & Jerry Only

Jerry Only really seems to be into giving his fans a special moment and before the show he not only walked around the club shaking hands and posing for a photo but he also headed right outside into the Halloween madness that was happening at the venue’s entrance.  He fit right in on this special night and was besieged by fans but then he made a couple of New York’s Finest officers evening by letting me snare this shot of the three of them.  There were so many costumes around us that it appeared as if the policemen were not too certain this was really Jerry and not someone only sporting the outfit.  I made sure to inform them that this was the real deal and not someone pretending to be him.

Jerry Only and Halloween Reveler
Jerry Only and Halloween Reveler

Mr. Only paused for a shot with a young Halloween trick or treater who I believed was a visiting tourist and not someone whose parents where bringing him into the show.  He had a great costume and this photo with Jerry was surely a lot more enjoyable than a bag of candy.  Well, maybe just a little bit better than the candy.  At least this is not fattening and trust me young man, some day this will really matter.  We also see a cool Misfits 30th Anniversary t-shirt on the left, and that’s being sported by wild man Bill Eckhoff who I see at tons of shows in the region.

B.B. King Server & Jerry Only
B.B. King Server & Jerry Only

Here we find Jerry placing his order for his pre-show dinner.  As you can see the lovely lass pictured was not only caught off guard but making sure that the end result will be to the singers satisfaction.  I believe the order was for a fresh steak extremely rare, with just a little bit of ectoplasm gravy on the side.  I wonder if that came with fries…..


This here little ghost was guarding the entrance to the venue and I am as yet unsure if he/she is the spirit of any concert goers long passed on.  Maybe we should get those guys in The Ghosthunters on the case…..maybe not.

Backstage: Dez Cadena & "Tiny"
Backstage: Dez Cadena & "Tiny"

Some backstage catching up found Mr. Dez Cadena discussing the show with band security emeritus, the Goliath we know only as “Tiny”.  I am so glad he was watching out for me when the bodies started flying….thanks dude.

The Misfits Fans as The Misfits
The Misfits Fans as The Misfits

Among the many costumes in the club this evening we snapped these two dudes dressed as members of the band and just had to share it with the readers since they did such a fantastic job.  Nice work guys, clearly you put a lot of work into your disguises…..if in fact that is what these really where…….spooky eh? covered The Misfits last Halloween as well and interested ghouls and boys might want to quench the ravenous thirst by checking out our thoughts and words HERE.

We also caught former Misfit and general colossus of a musician Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein who performed at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill back in September of 2008 with his band Gorgeous Frankenstein. To learn what we thought about that show and to enjoy a ton of photos just click HERE. “Happy Halloween New York City!!!!

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One thought on “The Misfits @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/31/2009)”

  1. Great review Ken and what a great night. Like you said Jerry Only was one of the nicest guys I’ve met in a long time and I’ve met alot of people in bands. Oh thanks for the mention of my tee-shirt in the pic and listing my name as a friend you see at alot of shows. As for the show it self it was an early night, but the band made up for it with a great show like they put on every Halloween. Now I’m counting down the days till next Halloween when the Misfits come back. Hopefully they will play BB Kings again, since BB Kings isn’t booking much metal or punk lately.

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