Misfits, Private Instigators | City Winery | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Misfits, Private Instigators Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Jan. 9, 11:30 p.m. 2015

The Misfits have been operating as a ridiculous, nostalgia-fueled reunion for two decades now. It’s a shame too, because this everlasting stint risks overshadowing their original six years of greatness—I’m starting to reach the point at which I see the iconic Crimson Ghost logo and think “washed-up old guys” instead of “one of the best punk bands ever.” That’s what the Misfits used to be. Formed in Lodi, New Jersey, in 1977 by horror-movie-obsessed vocalist Glenn Danzig and football-player bassist Jerry Only, the Misfits created a ghoulish punk-rock fury that ramped up what the Ramones started and topped it off with Elvis-inspired vocals and lyrics about alien invasions, grisly murders, and presidential assassinations. Their vast collection of singles and LPs from the era—the catchy and campy Walk Among Us and protothrashy Earth A.D. are the best examples—is one of the premier catalogs of American punk. After the group called it a day in ’83, Danzig went on to form the even bloodier Samhain and later the eponymous Danzig (another band whose cringe-worthy twilight is beginning to smudge its previous luster). Then in 1995 Only resurrected the Misfits, much ­­­­to the chagrin of his former bandmates. The new records aren’t very good, but it’s safe to say that Only and company aren’t disappearing anytime soon, so there’s no point in getting too upset over it. The re-formed lineup has seen a lot of punk’s key players shuffle in and out over the past 20 years, including former Misfit (and Only’s younger brother) Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, Marky Ramone, Robo of Black Flag, some dude named Dr. Chud, and former Black Flag vocalist Dez Cadena, who currently plays guitar. Sure, the Misfits today are a far cry from the luminaries who wrote and recorded “Last Caress,” but look at it this way: they’re probably still a better time than a Danzig show. Tonight’s performance is a benefit for John “Nunu” Zomot, a rock photographer and longtime friend of the band who recently suffered a heart attack and needs assistance with medical bills —Luca Cimarusti

Price: $40

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