For most, it would seem a tad unusual that there is only one support band for a show in a venue such as the Islington Academy, for us though, it makes perfect sense considering who tonight’s headliners are. One of the most iconic bands to ever grace this Earth, pioneers of the horror-punk subgenre, the one and only, The Misfits.
Taking to the stage dead on time are Chicago punk rock trio JuiceheaD, the crowd cheer loud as the band make their way on stage and immediately get stuck into their first song of the night quickly followed by their second. While the band seemingly go down well with the crowd, I personally feel that the music is far too monotonous and quite frankly uninteresting, even for a punk rock band. A usual blend of fast paced snare heavy drumming, husky vocals and one tone guitar, does little arouse my usual love of punk music. Regardless, they are received well by the crowd and serve as a good warm up for the icons who will take to the stage soon after.
A brief changeover full to the brim with cheering as the impressive stage set is unveiled, chants of “Misfits! Misfits! Misfits!”and the occasional squeal of excitement from fans on the far side as they catch glimpses of front manJerry Onlystomping his foot, psyching himself up for the show that is now only minutes away. Before we know it,Onlyhas wandered across the stage, closely followed by drummer Eric “Chupacabra” Arceand guitarist Dez CadenaofBlack Flagfame.
Boasting an impressive 37 song set, they waste no time kicking into opening songsThe Devil’s Rain, Vivid RedandLand of the Dead. They relentlessly pummel the crowd with another 14 songs before everyone really starts to get into it and enjoy themselves, after a quick change of instrumentsOnlysimply says the word‘psycho’and the crowd let out a roar of excitement, it seems, finally we will be hearing some of the classics.
WithOnlybeing the only remaining original member ofthe Misfitsand never having been a vocalist during this time, many fans would argue that the band before us are no longerThe Misfitsbut a tainted, watered down gimmick of the former horror punk kings. Many feel as thoughOnlyis not up to par and does not do theGraves/ Danzigera’s any justice. It is pretty clear to me that these fans are sadly mistaken as the band play through the remainder of their set consisting of classics; American Psycho, Scream, Halloween, Skulls, Where Eagles Dare, Hatebreeders, We Bite, Mommy! Can I go out and kill tonight?, All Hell Breaks Looseand We Are 138.The lights go dark and the band have disappeared, a quick two minute breather before they return for an encore of more classics;Descending Angel, Hybrid Moments, Cryin’ on a Saturday Night(at the which time, a big bearded tech insisted I slow dance with him!) and the last song of the night, the one song that everybody knows, the song that every member of the crowd was singing at the top of their lungs to,Die, Die, My Darling.
With that, the set ended andOnlyleft the stage to join the crowd at the barrier. He made his way up and down the barrier several times, signing autographs, posing for photos and thumbing his eye make up onto the foreheads of fans. It seems as though he stayed there, signing autographs until the venue had emptied a half hour later, after 30+ years, it is remarkable to see a band who still has so much respect for their fans.