Concert Review: The Original Misfits Came Ripping at Madison Square Garden

The Original Misfits played a high energy and raucous filled sold out reunion concert at Madsion Square Garden on Oct. 19.

The band—consisting of original lead singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein on guitar and Dave Lombardo on drums—put on a show that felt almost like an exclamation point on the run of reunion shows the band has been putting on every so often since their initial reunion in 2016.

The show felt like a full circle event as Danzig mentioned the band’s shows in the ‘70s in New York at CBGB. Danzig even reflected on people in the past who doubted punk rock’s ability to be everlasting in the beginning of the show who said a punk band would never play Madison Square Garden and emphasized that the show was sold out which gave the concert a celebratory feeling.

The band’s iconic skull logo was plastered everywhere, from the stage to t-shirts being worn in the arena, to even outside, which made an unmistakable statement of what was going to occur inside.

Outside of the Garden, one could not help but notice the juxtaposition of the Misfits show being advertised on the giant projected screen and that being directly followed by an advertisement for The Eagles concert in February also at MSG. But for one night, The Misfits turned MSG into their Halloween show just like back in CBGB, only on a bigger scale. And do I feel bad for anyone that mistakenly came thinking The Eagles were playing that night.

Song after song was hurled at the New York crowd with loud authority, giving almost no time to breathe or break. A break was not needed though, as momentum continued to build and explode over and over again, giving the crowd seemingly infinite amounts of adrenaline.

The beautiful bellow and soulful melodies of Glenn Danzig’s vocals filled every crack and crevice of MSG while the capacity crowd hung on and threw every lyric back at the stage. The distorted growling of Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein’s guitar was not so much an instrument as it was a tool that filled people with sonic excitement and joy. The fast-paced rhythm section backbeat of Jerry Only and Dave Lombardo provided an unmistakable groove and steadiness where the human body cannot help but move in some way, shape or form.

The Original Misfits pulled every person in Madison Square Garden into their influential horror-punk world filled with pumpkins, fiends, creatures, zombies and aliens while the ocean of people on the Garden floor swayed, danced and moshed back and forth.

The projected screen images of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe during “Bullet” and “Who Killed Marilyn?” only further encompassed every attendant into the band’s aesthetic as two menacing, angry looking and seemingly skyscraping jack-o-lanterns on the left and right side of the stage flashed lights through their eyes and mouth during every song.

The scattered crowd screams of ‘Mommy’ during the elongated silent break of “Mommy, Can I Go Out & Kill Tonight” echoed throughout MSG along with the collective chants during “We Are 138.”

Danzig, Only and Doyle provided additional moments of intimacy, aside from the intimacy the music already provides, as they got as close as possible to the crowd to look people in the eyes. Danzig often put his hand out and kneeled down to touch and look at the crowd on the floor of MSG. Doyle flicked multiple guitar picks into the crowd with a smirky smile on his face. Jerry Only seemed to break an infinite amount of basses over his knee and threw them into the sweat filled crowd, so often so that it makes one wonder exactly how many bass guitars he had on hand. Only even gave a full, intact bass to a crowd surfing woman in a wheelchair.

The Original Misfits provided joyful musical mayhem along with the soundtrack and forum for people to release their pent-up anger and frustration in a healthy and productive manner.