Earplugs might not be a bad idea after all. Following the deafening Misfits show Sunday night at Summit Music Hall, my ears are ringing and I can’t hear a damn thing — which is exactly the way it should be.
It was like stepping back into 1977 (which, oddly enough, was two years before this writer was even born). With Jerry Only exuding his fabled horror mystique and the crowd glowing with fiend skulls, it definitely felt like being transported in a time machine. For most, it was a long-awaited return, and the anticipation of the Misfits hitting the stage prompted all of the old school punks to reach for their cameras in order to document the iconic bedlam.
With a setlist totaling a whopping 37 songs, there was certainly plenty of time to get a good snapshot. But as the legendary “Misfits” banner descended behind the stage and thunder crackled from the PA, things changed quickly. Although most of the material off of this year’s “Devil’s Rain” sounded deflated next to older and more famed cuts, some songs like “Cold In Hell” and “Father” ripped along like stock diatribes. The real bare-knuckle stride of the evening never really caught traction until “Halloween” at nearly mid-set. From there, the batting order got meatier with “Skulls” (in all its two minute splendor) and the flowery “Where Eagles Dare.”
At the very least, the seminal greatness of those three songs heard in succession was blood-thirsty tonic for the punk soul. “Hatebreeders,” another throwback to 1982’s “Walk Among Us” and “We Are 138” from 1978’s “Static Age” also served as Punk 101 history lessons for the youthful swarm in attendance. The only thing that might have been missing was Glenn Danzig himself, but the kids in the circle pit couldn’t have cared less.
Kris K. Coe is a freelance writer, Denver-native, and new contributor to Reverb.