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CONCERT REVIEW: Michale Graves at The Irish Wolf Pub

What: Michale Graves - Live

Where: The Irish Wolf Pub
503 Linden St., Scranton, PA, 18503
When: October 8th, 2017

Michael-Graves-01 / Image: DCScranton, Pennsylvania, is known primarily for its association with the NBC TV show The Office and not much else. People from the area also remember the once booming coal industry that employed miners for generations. Scranton is not known for having a prominent musical scene, but Peter Kelly, owner of The Irish Wolf Pub, at 503 Linden St. Scranton, PA, has spent the last 7 years trying to change that by hosting traveling bands and local acts on a weekly basis and booking bands from the horror genre like The Independents, Cut Up Naked Teenagers, and Redneck Nosferatu. On December 3rd, 2016, Michale Graves graced the area with a stripped down acoustic set at Ale Mary’s (126 Franklin St. Scranton, PA) ,and on October 8th, 2017, The Irish Wolf Pub hosted Michale Graves as he returned with his full band.
The Irish Wolf Pub is a small venue across from the courthouse in downtown Scranton. This is the type of venue people remember visiting because the crowd is as much a part of the show as the band is. The small stage raises the artists only a few inches above the crowd, which keeps them in the center of the madness and creates an intense and intimate way to experience a concert. The friendly staff and open stage and bar area allow patrons to always be in the middle of what's going on. No backstage means the band walks through the mob of fans to reach the stage allowing everyone to interact on a level most venues don’t offer.

The show started around 8 o’clock and featured incredible performances by local acts Death Wish Birdie and Black Hole Heart, both definitely worth checking out. After a brief sound check, bassist Christopher Dean, guitarist Loki, drummer Tony Baptist and front-man Michale Graves work their way through the crowd towards the stage. Donning his skull paint Michale Graves kicked the show off with a powerful rendition of his track Bedlam, from the 2016 record When Worlds Collide, easily one of my favorite albums to date, before breaking out the expected Misfits classics.

Michael-Graves-02 / Image: DCListening to the Michale Graves band’s renditions of The Misfits' American Psycho / Famous Monsters era hits in this setting, pressed close to the stage with the mosh pit in full swing behind me, I felt more involved than I did standing in Douglas Park watching the original Misfits. This wasn’t a show for money or to sell out venues, this was strictly talented artists performing music they love for fans who couldn’t get enough. No one threw water at us for trying to get pictures, and Michale didn't break off the show to ramble about his hatred for the Kennedy family. (“It's 2017, Glenn, there's got to be, like, only one Kennedy left alive at this point and I doubt he cares what you think.”). The Michale Graves band covered the gambit of his musical career, performing songs from Punk Rock Is Dead (2005), Return To Earth (2006) and Illusions (2007) as well as the track “Seasons Of The Witch” (2003) from their Gotham Rd days. The highlight of the set list for me that night was watching the band perform “3 Days ‘til Dawn”, also from When Worlds Collide.
As the show began to wind down, Michale announced to the crowd they would play three more songs and end the show. He stated their egos didn’t need boosting from the walk back onstage and finish their set. The very real approach was refreshing and different from the typically portrayed rock star persona. The show came to a close with powerful versions of “Helena and Dig Up Her Bones”. and the band walked off stage to the back of the bar to sign autographs and meet the fans. Just like when I saw him in December, Michale Graves seemed genuinely interested to interact with his fans. The rest of the band hung around to bullshit with those of us who had attended. Michale Graves is an expert frontman and has crafted an incredible backing band and I, on behalf of Scranton, PA, would like to thank them for taking the time to give this area one hell of a show and let him know that we hope they come back through again.
Be sure to follow the band online:
And if you're ever in the area, stop by The Irish Wolf Pub for a killer time!Michael-Graves-03 / Image: DC

Posted by Dom Calzola

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