Where: Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
When: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
By Andrew Wilhelm (TX)
Danzig's show at the Boulder Theater is maybe the second metal show I've heard of in the city, the first being High on Fire's 4/20 show last year. I suppose if the Marley brothers and Phil Lesh had a metal band, they'd be hitting up Boulder ever six months. Venue employees were probably perplexed to see the Danzig-skull-septopuses and Danzig-skull-gargoyles flanking the stage instead of Grateful Dead bears. Damn the flower children and their flower children's children! Danzig's presence was much needed, and I sure as hell wasn't going to pass up seeing a legend. Even with a couple hitches, crossing the Dio-sized warrior off the concert bucket list was worth it.
I didn't arrive to the venue in time for 2 Cents (though post-show examinations did not instill any regret), so Devildriver were the first band I witnessed. The horns of the Danzig skull banner were peeking out behind Devildriver's banner - a sly reminder of who's show it really was. Despite my overall disdain for the SoCal unit, somewhat stemmed from a small part of me that can't resist thinking Dez Fafara might be overcompensating for his first band, I'm not going to blame the sound issues during their set on them. The guitar sound was muddy, and Fafara seemed to have occasional mic issues. It's no surprise that metal shows don't come to Boulder Theater often, and it showed in the sound. Devildriver didn't look like they were playing an off show, even with a mix even they didn't deserve. "I Could Care Less," with its Pantera-lite structure that was popular when the song came out in 2003, stuck out like a sore thumb in the band's more melodeath-influenced repertoire. Funny how bands change.
In high school, I worshiped Danzig's first three albums, and a lot of the crowd must have been like me, since most of Danzig's set came from those classics. Even with a prime setlist, which included "Twist of Cain," "Tired of Being Alive," and "Her Black Wings," there were still sound issues. Danzig's vocals weren't all that audible aside from his yells, which is distressing when that's one of your band's main selling points. Strangely, his crooning on "How the Gods Kill" could be heard rather well. Any incarnation of Danzig is bound to be negatively compared to the classic Christ-Biscuits-Von combo, but the current line-up of Prong's Tommy Victor on guitar, Type O Negative's Johnny Kelly on drums, and bassist Steve Zing of the TON-related A Pale Horse Named Death is quite solid. Victor in particular almost overshadowed Danzig himself. While Evil Elvis still writes the songs, the guitar sound is very Prong-y, and the solos don't quite have the bluesy bent that John Christ possessed. He also bore a greater role in amping up the audience, armed with plenty of fist pumps and "make some noise" hand geastures. Danzig hardly spoke to the crowd aside from introducing "Thirteen" and his band. Was he feeling bristly? Maybe, but it also lent to a brisk, energetic set. When the last note of "Dirty Black Summer" rang, one could tell that the mostly-up-from-Denver crowd were up for more swingin' occult bangin'. Even demons must rest, though, and despite the sound problems prevalent, Danzig showed Boulder a thing a two about heavy metal.
And yes, they played "Mother." Damien Marley wouldn't be let off by skipping "No Woman, No Cry," what makes you think Danzig would be different?
Danzig/Devildriver/2 Cents Tour 2011
May 06 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
May 07 - Corpus Christi, TX - Concrete Street Amphitheater
May 09 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
May 10 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
May 11 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
May 13 - Richmond, VA - The National
May 14 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
May 15 - Clifton Park, NY - Northern Lights
May 17 - Baltimore, MD - Bourbon Street
May 18 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Theater
May 20 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
May 21 - Columbus, OH - Rock On The Range (No Devildriver and 2Cents)
May 22 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave -
May 24 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Orbit Room
May 25 - St. Louis, MO - Pop's
May 27 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
May 28 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theater
P.S. - Danzig is now a unit of measurement. How awesome is that?