CONCERT REVIEW: The Misfits – Megadeth – Fear Live at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


 

I am not going to say that reunion tours are not shameless cash grabs. Up to this point, KISS and Bauhaus are the only bands successful at luring me out to them. However, The Misfits were an equally important part of my youth. The mere thirty-minute drive into Tampa, was too tempting, despite my lingering resentment with Danzig’s terrible Elvis tribute album. Going to an outdoor venue in Florida after May, added to the difficulty level of taking my misanthropic self into a 20,000-seat-capacity amphitheatre. Fear being on the bill provided more motivation, however thanks to misinformation regarding the start time at the venue and Tampa traffic, Fear had finished their set as I set foot into the venue.

Megadeth took the stage to crank out “Hangar 18” promptly at 7:45 . The stripped-down stage setup was little surprise given how vocal Dave has been about the cost of touring these days. I saw Megadeth a handful of times as they toured to support “Rust In Peace” so this was not a surprise. They were surprisingly better than expected. I saw them back in the day a couple of times but was never blown away by them. They stuck to their “hits” playing only two new songs. So from “Peace Sells” to “Sweating Bullets “ it was all the shredding radio you could shake your Vic Rattlehead to. Dirk (Verbeuren) from Soilwork was behind the drums and handled it like killing was his business. James Lomenzo, the ex-bassist for White Lion also proved he was able to wage holy war as needed. Dave brought out Lee Ving for a cover of “Nothing is Something” which oddly no one in the crowd seemed to know, but I was glad to see him sing one song since I missed Fear.

 

A medley of punk songs that even soccer moms should know played over the PA during the set change. You know, Ramones, Suicidal Tendencies, the Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, and Social Distortion, this made me ponder the irony of a Punk band playing an amphitheatre. However, if there was a band to do it, the Misfits made the most sense. After all, they influenced Metallica. The Misfits are larger than life. Even in their 60s they, still look like action figures. With a stage flanked by two giant pumpkins and Vegas-style video screens behind them, they opened the show with “Death Comes Ripping.”

 

Danzig’s voice, which was my main concern, sounded fine. He did not belt it out with the same robust baritone I heard on the “Lucifuge ” tour, but the Misftis’ songs are not as demanding as that either. He carried himself rather casually in-between songs, as he acted like he was taking requests from the audience. Danzig said they knew a bunch of songs, and proceed to name them off, though “Angel Fuck” was suspiciously not on that list, nor did it make an appearance. Not that I expected their entire discography to be played. The songs that were played, reminded you just what great songwriters they are, as each tune has stood the test of time. Some of the highlights for me were “Vampira,”, “Where Eagles Dare,” “Hybrid Moments,” “Some Kind of Hate,” and “Skulls.”

 

This select run of shows was billed as the “Original” Misfits but the line-up was bolstered by the addition of Dave Lombardo (Editor’s note: he of 8000 other bands and a solo album in 2023) on drums, and Dope / Joan Jett guitarist Acey Slade. Slade stood behind Jerry Only on stage and Dave did his job. For Dave, it was his easiest paycheck compared to playing Slayer or Mr. Bungle. Doyle has more of a metallic guitar tone, and due to the benefit of the big production, this was a much better sound than they had back in the 1980s. While punk is known for being rebellious anthems for angry youth, the Misfits wrote songs about pulp horror movies, teenagers from Mars, collecting skulls, and remembering the fun October nights, when your mother let you go out and kill. Perhaps that is why there is such a timelessness to their songs. It was celebrated in Florida heat, and maybe one night it might be celebrated in your cooler climes too. If this tour is coming to your town, don’t miss this show. They still deliver each and every last caress.

 

Setlist, via setlist.fm

Death Comes Ripping

I Turned Into a Martian

Vampira

Where Eagles Dare

Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?

London Dungeon

Hybrid Moments

Violent World

Some Kinda Hate

Hollywood Babylon

Who Killed Marilyn

Earth A.D.

Green Hell

20 Eyes

Devil’s Whorehouse

Halloween

Horror Business

Bullet

Astro Zombies

Teenagers From Mars

Children in Heat

Skulls

Night of the Living Dead

Last Caress

Encore:

We Are 138

Die, Die My Darling

Halloween II (on tape)

 

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WORDS BY WIL CIFER