Sunday, September 28, 2014

He Who Cannot Be Named

Samhain/ Goatwhore / Kyng
The Warfield, San Francisco
September 20, 2014

Tonight was one of only 6 Samhain "reunion" shows scheduled for this year featuring 3/4 of the original band and the guy from Baroness filling in on guitar.  The week prior to the show I listened to Samhain again for the first time in awhile and I was surprised how Goth they sounded... something I guess I never thought about before.  Am I a poser or what?  Anyway, if only all shows were this easy:

This was the magical All Access wristband for Samhain in San Francisco... and then this happened:

Long story short:  Sitting on a dressing room couch next to Glenn as he told anecdotes about Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig Bay Area shows back in the old days was kinda surreal.  He also rattled off a couple of Cliff Burton and Jaymz Hetfield stories. Say what you will about Danzig, he was really cool and genuine to me.  I was surprised how much he remembered.. The Mabuhay.. The On Broadway.. The Stone..etc. He even mentioned the Mabuhay show later onstage.  Anyway...

I guess I should mention the support bands:  To be honest,  I've not listened to much if anything by Kyng but, because of my face time with the headliner, I only saw a sliver of their set as they played a cover of Van Halen's 'Hot For Teacher'.  The Umlaut Archives say that I've seen Goatwhore at least 10x now and if you've seen one of their Satanic sets you've seen them all... which isn't meant to be a negative... but maybe it comes off like it... so maybe it is..  Honesty is my only excuse.   Anyway...

Evidently there was a "no camera" policy in effect at the show but I wasn't aware of it until long after the show was over.  Oooops...

The view from the soundboard

The set was basically the Initium and November Coming Fire albums played in their entirety... which meant 'All Murder, All Guts, All Fun' and 'He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named' got the night's festive energy going early in the set as a result.  One thing that was obvious was how engaged Glenn was performing these songs compared to the most recent Danzig show I saw last year.  Samhain obviously still means alot to him and his demeanor onstage reflected that; he wasn't going through the motions.  

The first half of the show featured Initium with such "hits" as 'Horror Biz' and closing with 'Archangel' featuring Glenn on guitar. The second half of the night focused on November Coming Fire and was actually better.  Original members Steve Zing and London May traded places on bass and drums and it was interesting seeing the different energy each brought to those roles onstage.  London May had more of a swing to his drumming that kicked up the energy a notch more for those songs IMO.

During the set I wondered how many in attendance in the half full venue were there because they knew Samhain songs or because Glenn Danzig was performing.  You have to admit that Samhain is basically Glenn's deep cuts, right?  The night's final song was the Misfits 'Halloween II' which seemed to hit the "Hey! I know this song!" nerve with the majority of the half full venue.  Not that it mattered... I thought it was a solid set and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

It's a shame that Glenn has become the public figure that he is now here in the 21st Century; an easy target for ridicule and jokes.  The Misfits and the first couple of Danzig albums still completely hold up in my book... and Samhain is under appreciated.   Still... It's impossible not to laugh at Henry & Glenn Forever.

THANKS to Wedge for sorting me.  I didn't do a merch audit tonight..  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. All in all not bad for a Saturday night in San Francisco.