Last nite was the big Fiend Fest at the Vic. It started at 5 and ended near 11pm. Quite an endurance match, and at 6 bucks a beer, quite a drain on the wallet, especially considering my mission was to consume an obscene amount of serum. Here’s the rundown:
DI played first. The only person that was still in the band from the last time I saw them (mid 90s) was Casey Royer (singer/founder). They played all the hits and sounded real good. Casey is looking noticeably older these days. Some asshole bumped into me hard and made me spill my beer. Had I seen him, I would have shook him down for the 6 bucks to replace it. DI played about a half hour, a bit short but that seemed to be the length of most sets at this show.
After only about a 10 min wait (all the opening bands shared equipment, and they were super efficient in having the next band come on with only a few mins in between), Balzac were up next. I never heard them before. They were from Japan and are basically a Japanese Misfits, complete with the “ohh ohh ohh’s”. The singer had the coolest shirt on with bones all over it, that I fancied stealing off of him. They were OK but didn’t do much for me. They had one song that was much harder than the others that I liked the best of the stuff they played.
Agnostic Front were next up. Although I own a handful of their records, I don’t listen to them very much and only recognized a couple songs they played, and those were actually newer ones. They were energetic and seemed to be enjoying themselves and I thought it was cool that I finally got to see them after all these years.
The Dickies took the stage next, and Stan and Leonard looked far more weathered than when I saw them last (8 years ago). That didn’t stop them from kicking ass though. Except for one song, “My Pop the Cop”, they played only the old “hits” and they sounded as good as they ever have. Leonard had a few of his stage props and was quite entertaining between songs with his witty banter, especially when he commented on being on Fat Wreckords and having the guy from NOFX as his boss!
The main purpose for my going to this show followed, and that was THE DAMNED! They played longer than the other bands (thankfully) and spanned nearly their whole career during the set (nothing from Anything was played). The Captain was wearing his dress, Dave had this kick ass old school mic, and the rest of the band were super tight. I don’t think they are capable of putting on a bad show. They were easily worth the price of admission alone. At this point I was pretty sauced too.
What finished off the show was a travesty. Billing themselves at The Misfits is blasphemy. I like to refer to it as the Jerry Only Experience. And the experience is not a pleasant one. The “Misfits” now is Jerry, Dez Cadena (of Black Flag fame), and Marky Ramone. Jerry did most of the singing, and sorry pal, but yr not really cut out to be singing those songs. The sound was complete shit, I am sure they thought they were sounding all powerful, but it came across as a muddy distorted mess. The main thing you could hear was the kick drum, it was turned up way too loud. The songs were so muddy it was hard to distinguish one from the other, even for someone so familiar with their material! About half way thru, we split to get some food. Their shitty performance actually was a major buzzkiller, I was sober and pissed off when we walked out of there! They were so bad, they made me sober up in minutes! On top of blaspheming Misfits tunes, they also butchered Ramones and Black Flag tunes. They were just an all-star cover band.
My advice, if this show is coming to yr town, go and leave right after THE DAMNED, and you’ll be leaving with a smile on yr face as all the bands except for the aforementioned blasphemers, really put on a great show and it was a good time. Hopefully drinks are cheaper where they are playing in yr town than they were at the Vic!