Music Review: The Misfits at Kingdom

Samantha Foster
Staff Writer

The Misfits are the most notable name to perform to date at Shockoe Bottom venue Kingdom, which opened in October of this year.

“With just a touch of their burning hand,” The Misfits vowed to “see (us) again in hell,” but not without one final comment that they “wanted (our) skulls.”

The Misfits concert this past Monday at Kingdom was attended by those who were seeing their idols and musical influences live. No one cared that the audience topped off at roughly 75 people.

This iconic horror-punk band has been playing off and on since 1977, going through several different guitarists and drummers since their start. Current bassist Jerry Only went through years of legal battles with the original guitarist, Glenn Danzig, before it was finally settled that Only would continue the band without Danzig.

The Misfits are widely known for their extreme costumes, shows and skull logo. Their show was no exception to the greatness that preceded their arrival. In fact, the show acted as way for all the different subgenres of rock music to come together, for at least one night, to enjoy The Misfits in peace.

The audience for this show was incredibly small for the four opening bands. However, once the stage began to turn into the dark underworld of The Misfits, the room started to fill up with every type of punk, emo, rock-a-billy and heavy-metal fan imaginable.

Lights flashed different colors for each song, and smoke rolled in from the sides of the stage, all adding to the theatrical buildup already made by the stage equipment, which is a celebrity in and of itself.

The microphone stands appeared to have been used to impale skeletons through their ribcages. The iconic skull and logo of The Misfits covered the bass drums and amps. At the sight of all of these, and of Only’s skull-topped bass, the crowd started screaming for the band to begin.

Each member of the band had their own distinct style of red, black and white face paint, but all of them were meant to frighten. Bassist Only mesmerized the audience with his gelled hair style and the 6-inch spikes covering his leather jacket.

Once their set began, they flowed from one song into the next, only ever stopping to announce one of their older songs. It quickly became clear that these were the songs the audience was expected to sing along to. They gladly complied, despite not being able to clearly hear what was sung.

The Misfits’ lyrics follow the genre of horror punk, which includes anything from classic horror movies. Skulls, zombies, blood, Frankenstein and murder have all been regular topics for songs.

The general sound of The Misfits is classic punk, with heavy beats, few solos of any kind and a heavy use of drums. Also, no matter the song, it will be played at top volume. At the concert, this meant that no one walked out of there with their hearing intact. One fan was overheard yelling “I can’t hear my own thoughts!” after the concert was over.

Even though The Misfits are accustomed to playing larger venues, they adapted well to the small crowd being so close to them. They called out members of the crowd and winked at the women in the audience during “Die Die My Darling.” Guitarist Dez Cadena handed out guitar picks, and Only shook hands with fans who had fought their way to the stage all night.

Being that close to the band made this particular show a once in a life time event.

The Misfits is a band that will be around forever. They will regenerate every so often with new members, but they will continue to play the classic songs to which everyone knows the words, and they will continue to unite all the different groups of people under one, loud roof.



Photos by Amber-Lynn Taber

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