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CONCERT REVIEW: Danzig (2017)

In late 2015, Glenn Danzig said he would no longer tour.
My first and only time seeing Danzig had been about a month before he made that announcement. The security at the show was over the top; the performance was underwhelming. I was still grateful to have finally seen the heavy metal legend and punk rock deity.
At a festival in 2017, Danzig played Danzig 3: How the Gods Kill in its entirety. Afterwards he announced a short fall tour for his new album, Black Laden Crown, with Corrosion of Conformity. There was a date at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, half an hour away from me. The forces of evil had showed benevolence. I couldn't believe my luck.Danzig ticket
The local opener was MOROS, an apocalyptically bleak heavy metal band from Philadelphia. Like Shining from Sweden, suicide is the motif of their music and merchandise. They were abysmal in a good way.
Next was Mutoid Man. Two members of the trio are in renowned metalcore bands but the songs they played were equal parts hardcore punk and doom metal. Singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky's stage presence is like a toned-down Devin Townsend singing for Red Fang.
Corrosion of Conformity reunited with vocalist Pepper Keenan two years ago and their set was mostly made up of the southern rock-influenced sound that he brought to the band when they were originally hardcore punk. They played four songs from Deliverance, their most successful album and their first album to feature Keenan on lead vocals, as well as the exuberant single “Who's Got the Fire” from America's Volume Dealer. In the middle of their set, they did revisit their punk sound and attitude when they played “Vote With a Bullet,” an aggressive, politically-charged song that didn't divide people but brought them together in the mosh pit.
Danzig autograph albumCorrosion of Conformity ended their set with “Clean My Wounds” and took down their banner, leaving the iconic horned skull logo snarling down at an eager audience. The band took the stage and started things brutally with “SkinCarver.” A mosh pit instantly broke out next to us. The audience responded with just as much intensity to “Twist of Cain,” a classic from the first Danzig album. After that was “Devil on Highway 9,” a fast-paced song from Black Laden Crown that grabs you and drags you along with it. You can hear Danzig's age in his vocals on the new album but that was barely noticeable at this show. He followed the new song with “Her Black Wings” from the second album and five songs from How the Gods Kill, including the chilling title track, with Danzig sounding just like he did on the recordings. After the sinisterly catchy live staple “Dirty Black Summer,” he played “Last Ride,” the somber single from the new album. There were several older songs before his most popular song, most inescapable song, “Mother.”
The band left the stage but quickly came back. The encore was the darkly sensuous “She Rides” and biting, blasphemous “Snakes of Christ.”
Danzig autograph pictureWe went outside to wait by the bus afterwards. Danzig is almost impossible to meet anymore but we decided to test our luck along with about thirty other people. Maybe a half an hour after the show ended, Glenn came outside and went to his bus but waved to the crowd and said he would sign soon. His bodyguard explained that everyone needed to line up and then he would take people two at a time to the bus where he would take their items onto the bus for Glenn to sign but he wouldn't be meeting anyone. That system worked fairly efficiently and we met Danzig's drummer, Johnny Kelly (formerly of Type O Negative), while waiting to get our stuff signed.
All of the bands put on great shows and it was an amazing experience made even better since it was an opportunity I never thought I would have.

Posted by Laura D. James

Laura D. James has written two novels – Revenge in Blood, and Demon Flesh – and is the co-author of the horror-themed children’s book series Spooky Skwerl Stories, all of which are available on Amazon. She lives in New Jersey and enjoys metal concerts and true crime podcasts.

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