Asesino, Belphegor, The Haunted, Lacuna Coil, and Danzig.
Los Angeles, CA
By Lexa Vonn
Photos by: Lexa Vonn
The Blackest of the Black tour would be my third time photographing Glenn Danzig, but Glenn and I go back long before then, in spirit anyway. As a rebellious 12-year-old raised in a Pagan household, I first discovered The Misfits while searching for an alternative to the glam rock bands of the late 80’s. I was going through a straight edge phase and wanted to find a sound that was tougher and fiercer than what was being played on MTV. Every week I’d spend my allowance at the local record store purchasing albums based on how scary, political or taboo the album covers appeared.
The Misfits' 'Earth AD' was one of those albums, and so my love affair with the band began. As a teen, I eventually traded in my straight edge ways for beer and boys with guitars. I kept a list in my journal of wild things that I wanted to do before I died.
Number 25 on the list was “sleep with a rock star”. At nineteen, I met one of the Misfits many drummers and fulfilled list number 25. My romance with him spanned over four years and led me on many weekend stay-overs in Lodi, NJ home of the Misfits. It was there that I recorded the first demos for my all grrrl band, Ophelia Rising. When I picked up a guitar, The Misfits song, “Last Caress” was one of the first I learned to play by ear.
Coincidentally, “have an article published” was also on my list. While my first published article wasn’t related to The Misfits or Glenn, my first TWO articles published by Crypt Magazine were. The first one I did was the world premiere of the adult film, “Grub Girl” based on the graphic novel “Zombie Hooker” which was a release from Glenn’s publishing company, Verotik.
The second was my in depth coverage of the wedding of Satanic Church heir, Stanton and Szandora LaVey held on 6-6-06. Among the stars that performed at their wedding were members of Alkaline Trio, 45 Grave, Hank Williams III, Lamb of God and…Glenn Danzig. Needless to say, when Crypt Magazine editor/publisher David Necro announced that he needed someone to cover the Blackest of the Black tour, I was not only happy to oblige, but seemed to be the obvious choice for the job.
"The Blackest of the Black tour is for extreme bands that sell out venues across the country, that sell records, but don’t get radio play or get on MTV,” said Danzig is a recent press release. “It’s anti the corporate crap nu-rap-metal that gets shoved down fans’ throats at other concerts.” The bill of wrath headlined by a special line-up of Danzig features former Samhain bandmate/drummer Steve Zing on bass, and Type O Negative’s Johnny Kelly and Kenny Hickey on drums and guitar respectively.
Other bands of blackened honor on the bill include such heavy hitters as Asesino, Belphegor, The Haunted and Lacuna Coil. I was a little late arriving to the show, so unfortunately I missed Asesino. I did however arrive just in time to catch the second half of Belphegor’s set, which was raw with primal power and unabashed fervor.
Whoever set the order of the line-up did a good job because I felt that each band’s performance was better than the last. The Haunted’s slightly punk spin on dark scream rock was a nice transition from the black/death metal crossover stylings of Belphegor to the driven goth-metal melodies of Lacuna Coil, who’s strong female vocals (by Cristina Scabbia) was a welcomed break from the previously testosterone ruled evening.
I’d never seen Lacuna Coil live before, but I was thoroughly impressed with both their energy and connection to the crowd to their impeccable sound during this particular performance. They really stood out on this bill, even pulling off a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”.
With so many bands on the bill, the night was long but well worth the wait for Danzig! We got news the day before the show that Glenn was sick with the flu, but despite a few raspy notes here and there one wouldn’t have known the difference.
Glenn emerged from a smoke screen and moved about the stage like a charging bull, dodging in and out of the gothic style set dressings and giving the audience his all. In fact, he didn’t stand still long enough for me to even get a clear shot on my camera.
The sound in the theatre was crystal clear and sounded good from every seat as I changed my location with every few songs. Danzig played a pretty lengthy set that included various hits from all the era’s of Danzig, as well as a few songs from Samhain (the highlight of the evening for me -DN) and The Misfits. The highlight for me was definitely the first of two encores where Glenn introduced original (or just about) Misfit Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, who arrived in full nostalgic regalia, to the stage to join him in some old Misfits songs.
I soon forgot that I was there on assignment, as I couldn’t contain myself from pogo-ing out in the VIP section. The evening ended with Danzig’s most commercially notably “Mother” and left the crowd begging for more. It seemed that this crowd would have been happy to sit through even more tunes despite their drunken exhaustion.
One possessed individual even dived from the second floor balcony into the sea of fans down below. Not a wise decision…but it does go to show the affect that this band has on some people. I heard that some of the stage props were even stolen not long afterwards, which only proves my point that too much Danzig is never enough for some! After all, someone who has had a successful career in music for the last 30 years must be doing something right.
© 2006 Crypt Magazine. All rights Reserved.