The man known as the "Evil Elvis" took care of business Thursday at the Uptown Theater. Glenn Danzig, a vastly influential icon of punk and metal, demonstrated his affinity for the King of Rock and Roll in a brief but bracing outing.
By BILL BROWNLEE
Special to The Star
Danzig, 56, shares Elvis' bluesy voice, penchant for martial arts moves and intangible but undeniable charisma.
Thursday's concert served as a survey of his career. Danzig founded the Misfits in 1977. The punk band's ubiquitous skull logo is familiar even to people who've never heard the band. Danzig went on to form the band Samhain before creating the sinister metal act Danzig in 1987.
The characteristically disturbing song "SkinCarver" opened Danzig's set.
A thunderous version of "Twist of Cain" was another example of Danzig's ongoing flirtation with horrific and satanic themes. The subject matter might have seemed silly if not for the primal force of the music. The vocalist was backed by a powerful trio. The extremely punishing volume inside the Uptown Theater made the sinister work of guitarist Tommy Victor, the founder of metal band Prong, particularly menacing. Danzig's masculine bluster makes it nastier than Motorhead, meaner than AC/DC and far more malevolent than Ozzy Osbourne.
After 35 minutes of metallic bombast, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein bounded onto the stage like an enraged rodeo bull. Fifteen frantic minutes of Misfits material ensued. Shirtless and wearing face paint and an impressive devilock hair style, Frankenstein chugged through a handful of Misfits classics including "The Last Caress," "Astro Zombies" and "I Turned Into a Martian." During this segment, Danzig's vocals shifted from mellifluous bellowing to clipped shouting.
After an instrumental interlude, Danzig sang "Mother," the biggest hit of his career. As he tossed water bottles into the crowd and tirelessly offered high-fives to fans near the stage, Danzig's reputation as an overly temperamental artist seemed undeserved. Alas, things wouldn't end well.
After performing for just over an hour, Danzig and his cohorts abandoned the stage. The crowd of about 800- many of whom had been inside the venue for over four hours- initially responded with hearty calls for an encore. Within five minutes their cheers transformed into discontented grumbling. Five additional minutes passed before the house lights were turned on and stage hands began tearing down the set. The "Evil Elvis" had apparently left the building.
Opening acts: Hammerlord was the most impressive of Danzig's three opening acts. The area band's fearsome thrash is free of excess, a commendable trait not shared by MonstrO or Kyng. The stoner metal of Atlanta's MonstrO only began to coalesce at the conclusion of its 35-minute set. The most memorable moments of an appearance by Kyng were the Los Angeles-based power trio's responses to impatient hecklers.