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  • Live Review: Danzig - Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles

    Thu, 06 Nov 2008 12:25:52

    Live Review: Danzig - Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles - How the gods (still) kill

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    The devil never goes out of style. 20 years since he unleashed his now legendary solo debut, Danzig remains as evil as he's ever been. Los Angeles can't get enough of him either. Walk down Hollywood Boulevard any hour of any day, and you're guaranteed to see a contingent of kids donning either Misfits or Danzig shirts. Beyond that, he's got legions of diehard fans obsessed with him. Bringing his annual fall roadshow, The Blackest of the Black Tour, back to the Gibson Amphitheatre last night, Danzig proved as incendiary as ever. Heavy metal's best baritone summoned a charisma that few pundits of the genre could match. He also looked fashionable doing it—surprise—wearing ALL black. This is Los Angeles, remember, what you're wearing is always important—even at a metal show.

    With a simple black backdrop brandishing his logo, Danzig hit the stage like a madman, pointing to the sky and beckoning a metallic thunder. He launched right into "Skin Carver," and his howl instantly sucked everyone into his world. Guitarist Tommy Victor [Prong, Ministry] ripped through the song's riff with a newfound fire, as Type O Negative's Johnny Kelly bashed away at a demonic drum beat behind him. All eyes stayed on Glenn. He stalked the stage like a serial killer, nailing every note with a punishing panache that only he could muster.

    After the last strains of "Skin Carver" butchered the audience, Danzig launched into a bombastic "Twist of Cain." He prefaced it screaming, "Hello, L.A.! 20 years motherfuckers! This is Danzig One." The cheers almost engulfed his scream. "Twist of Cain's" winding riff wrenched like a knife, and Glenn packed a punch carrying the melody to the depths of hell and bringing the crowd along with him.

    The bone-snap stomp of "Am I Demon" jumped with a kinetic energy, as Tommy rocked a smoothly devilish blues solo. Meanwhile, Danzig also had something for the girls. Amidst small groups of girls clad in the prerequisite black, Glenn sparked some seriously satanic gyration on "Her Black Wings" and the melodically dark lullaby "Devil's Plaything." The goth crescendo could be perfect for any strip club in America—especially if the girls look like they're on True Blood. On "How the Gods Kill," Johnny Kelly's arms swung like a guillotine as he bashed through the din. The strobe lights flashed at an obscene pace, as Victor's guitar tore through the aural assault. The bluesy buildup could've been the soundtrack to a trip to the Devil's swamp. On "Brand New God," Glenn perched himself at the front of the stage like a Gargoyle screaming into the microphone and bringing that intensity right up in the fans' faces.

    Before his signature salvo, "Mother," Glenn just laughed, "You know what this is." The opening riff was rapturous, and the band conjured the same vibrancy that the original recording had. Danzig finished off with "She Rides" and "Dirty Black Summer," the perfect closing one-two punch. He said it best, "There's nothing like L.A."

    —Rick Florino

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