Madison "Scare" Garden
I was pretty excited to learn that the Misfits would be playing their only New York City show at Madison "Scare" Garden on October 8, 1999. What could be more appropriate? When I think of Halloween, the band immediately comes to mind.
Upon personal invite from drummer Dr. Chud himself, I retrieved the tickets from the will-call window, accompanied by my best friend Mellissa. When we arrived at the stage area, none other than Alice Cooper emerged to say a few introductory words about the event (including the fact that the Misfits are one of his favorite bands). I had never seen Alice in person before so, needless to say, I was thrilled.
The Misfits began to enter, one by one. Jerry Only, the band's bass player, gave us the low down: We would be led through a maze and then return to see the band perform. We were all handed 3-D glasses, which unfortunately refused to stay on my face, so I wound up holding them up to my eyes like a pair of opera glasses. Nevertheless, I have to say, the effects were amazing!
At the close of the 3-D section, we entered a walkway surrounded by a moving tunnel that totally messed with my equilibrium to the point that I had to stop and re-focus just to continue. Next, we came upon the "Meat Cooler," basically a maze filled with corpses on meat hooks and a contingent of frozen zombies. I was impressed with the fact that through all of the twists and turns we truly COULD NOT find our way out. Eventually, I spotted Dr. Chud, waiting in line for the "Freak Show" (a short film about freaks and Halloween), along with vocalist Michale Graves, Jerry Only, and the guitarist Doyle.
After the screening, we headed back to catch the band. As they took the stage, Chud pulled off the cover of his drums to reveal the most spectacular set I'd ever seen! They had been painted with day-glo colors, equipped with enormous steel spikes and laced with plastic skeletons.
The show opened with "Forbidden Zone," a new track from Famous Monsters, the band's latest album. In addition, the band performed "Saturday Night," "Helena," and "Scarecrow Man" (also all from the new release), and a handful of songs from the Danzig years such as "Static Age," "Last Caress," "Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight," and "I Turned Into a Martian."
The room filled with the kind of electricity one can only experience at a Misfits show. Audience participation has always been one the best parts of their concerts and this evening was no exception. The crowd knew all of the lyrics and was singing them loud and proud, especially during "Dig Up Her Bones," one of my personal favorites.
At one point in the show, Michale stage dove into the audience and the microphone cord wound up wrapped around my neck! I survived with little bother. During the band's second set, we hung out backstage where I got to meet Joey Ramone, one of the few people on this planet who can actually still leave me star-struck. Mellissa, Chud and I then went back to Chud's hotel room so that he could shower off his ghoul make-up, and then headed to CBGBs for the after-party.
We got there at about three a.m. and had just enough time to down a few Red Stripes before last call. Hmmm, where to go? We didn't want to end the drinking frenzy, so we hopped in a cab with a pit stop at Sun-Lee deli for some brews and ended up at Arena Blaze, the dungeon I work at in Midtown Manhattan. Mellissa crashed early and Chud and I polished off the beer in the medical room.
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